The EQC claims cake
By Jessica Rowe
The Earthquake Commission gave itself a pat on the back today as it completed its 100,000th full claim in Canterbury since the quakes began in September 2010.
But it still has a big job ahead, with at least another three years of work to go.
The Charles family of Shirley are celebrating - they can finally move back into their repaired house.
EQC is celebrating too, they've paid out just over $3 billion in claims.
“It’s pretty good I might say,” homeowner Richard Charles says.
“It's good to get back to normality. All we ever wanted was to get our house back to the way it was, so we're pretty pleased.”
But there's still a massive task, EQCs still got 350,000 claims to deal with and many properties have multiple claims on them.
The job's expected to go to 2015, even with 200 assessors on the ground and thousands of contractors.While the Charles family is happy, others aren't. Many have commented on a Facebook page which criticised the decisions of named EQC assessors.
One was Wayne Fawker, who says his drains were significantly damaged in the February quake, but he was told by an assessor it was there before the quake.
“If anyone knows this house it's us, not somebody walking in and in less than 10minutes saying ‘oh no, that's not earthquake-related damage’. We know, they don't.”
And he's not alone; homeowner Mark Roberts is also concerned.
“I don't understand how they can find so much less damage in my home after the fourth assessment, and I just have no confidence that my home can be repaired to the standard it is safe and I can return my equity.”
EQC says they sympathise with their customers.
“I understand the frustration,” EQC customer services manager Bruce Emson says.
“And we haven't been the easiest organisation to work with. If I go back to my earlier number, 485,000 claims... This is the second largest ever insurance event in the world, behind hurricane Katrina.”
The worst thing though is there could be even more claims. Since Christmas they've received over 50,000.