June marks four months since the claims lodgement deadline for the 14 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. EQC and private insurers are making good progress on settling customer claims and we’d like to give you an update on where we are at.
EQC is piloting a new approach to claims resulting from the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. Instead of EQC handling all of the undercap claims as it has historically done, private insurers who signed up to a memorandum of understanding in late 2016, are now acting as EQC’s agents who can assess and settle residential building and contents claims from Kaikoura earthquake regardless of whether they are over or under EQC cap. The new approach with insurers is a pilot and draws from lessons learnt from the Canterbury and the 14 February 2016 earthquakes. We have sought to put our customers at the heart of our claim management approach and work much more closely with the wider insurance industry to achieve our aim.
How are we doing?
EQC has received over 38,000 claims from customers for residential damage caused by the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, making Kaikoura the second largest claims event in EQC’s 70 plus year history. While Christchurch, Wellington, North Canterbury and Marlborough are the primary locations for claims lodged, claims have also been received from Invercargill through to Northland.
Of the 38,000 plus residential claims managed by EQC and insurers, as of 31 May over 40% of building and land claims have had their initial assessment completed, and 21% have been settled.
EQC and insurers have been focusing on hardest hit communities within Marlborough, Kaikoura and Hurunui first. This means our building assessment progress in these regions has been greater, and as of 31 May, Marlborough has 55% of initial building assessments completed, Kaikoura 75% and Hurunui 50%.
Out of 5,500 claims that are with EQC to assess and settle, 50% of customers’ building and land claims have had the initial assessment completed and 39% are settled as of 31 May. With focus being on hardest hit regions, across Marlborough, Hurunui and Kaikoura EQC has completed 75% of land and building assessments.
We know there is still a lot to do for our customers, but looking at where we are at the moment, EQC and insurers are still working hard to make the majority of settlement offers for Kaikoura earthquake customers by the end of 2017.
In the community
Private insurers and EQC have been working closely with local authorities in the most affected regions to ensure any insurance related issues are addressed. Also EQC and insurers have been active participants in local community meetings and information clinics, and engaged in many forums where residents have been able to have one-on-one discussions with their insurer or EQC about their claims.
Community forums have been held during May in Kaikoura, Waiau, Ward, Seddon and Kekerengu. The Kaikoura meeting was livestreamed and the video of the event on Council’s Facebook has since received many views. The link to the video can also be found on our Kaikoura page at www.eqc.govt.nz/kaikoura under Related information.
EQC and insurers are working together on answers to most frequently asked questions about Kaikoura insurance claims. The Q&As have been informed by the local recovery teams as well as different community forums. We hope to have them available soon so keep an eye on our website at www.eqc.govt.nz/kaikoura