Homeowners whose properties have suffered damage from the storm hitting the country this week should contact the Earthquake Commission for advice on lodging a claim.
Head of Response and Recovery, Robyn Nation, says people have three months to lodge an EQC claim from the time that the storm, flood or landslip damage occurs, but the safety and welfare of family, friends and neighbours comes first.
“Our message to people in the affected areas is to always put their well-being first after these storm events. There is plenty of time to lodge a claim with EQC and the priority for is for people to look after themselves, their families, and friends and take stock of what’s happened to their properties.”
Mrs Nation says that EQC covers storm and flood damage to residential land only, with home and contents damage covered by private insurance according to the terms of an individual’s policy.
EQC covers landslip damage to residential land, plus home and contents, within certain limits:
- Land cover is outlined below.
- Your home is generally insured up to a maximum of $100,000 +GST per event, on a replacement value basis.
- Your contents are generally insured up to a maximum of $20,000 +GST per event, on a replacement value basis.
“We have seen a number of storms hit different parts of the country this year and unfortunately some regions have had such bad weather more than once,” says Mrs Nation.
“These events travel through the country and can seriously impact a number of local communities. Our teams work closely to provide information and support to residents, community organisations and councils in those areas as part of their recovery. Anyone whose land has been damaged should lodge a claim for each event and we can help them through the claim lodgement process.
“Each claim is assessed, and depending on the type and extent of damage, can involve a geotechnical engineer, valuer or other expert.
“The more information a customer can provide during the claim process, the more we can understand their requirements and whether their damage is covered under the EQC Act. Even if you don’t have all the information you might eventually need to provide, you should still lodge a claim and we can start the process.”
EQC’s approach is to cash settle claims for land damage and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to arrange for the necessary work to clear or repair their land.
“If you need to make any urgent repairs, keep records and receipts of any costs incurred, such as for clearing debris caused by a landslip or flood. We can consider reimbursement as part of a claim. Our advice is talk to us before you make any urgent repairs that mean you need to incur a cost. Either way take lots of photos to help us understand your damage,” says Mrs Nation.
EQC coverage of land is limited to land that is within your land holding – and includes:
- land under your home and outbuildings (e.g., shed or garage)
- land within eight metres of your home and outbuildings
- land under or supporting your main access way, up to 60 metres from your home (not driveway surfacing).
EQC land cover includes:
- bridges and culverts within the above areas
- some retaining walls that are necessary to support or protect your home, outbuildings or insured land
- the removal of debris, such as silt or fallen trees, from the insured land (not replacement of items on the land, such as trees, plants, lawn and driveways).
EQC has more specific and detailed information on what it covers on its website - eqc.govt.nz/storm-damage
Claims can be lodged online at eqc.govt.nz/claims, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243). The EQC call centre is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.
EQC Media: 029 978 6430 or email@example.com