Residents around New Zealand have lodged a total 495 claims with the Earthquake Commission for damage caused by the storm events that hit the country between 1 January and 30 April this year. The average time for closing a claim for storm events is 35 days.
Chief Customer Officer Trish Keith says that EQC has already resolved over half of these claims for our customers and is working to complete the rest as quickly as possible.
“2018 has so far proved to be a busy time for EQC following the ex-cyclones and the storms that have hit different parts of the country. We certainly expect to receive more claims during the rest of this year, especially with the recent weather that caused flooding in Rotorua and South Canterbury and winter still ahead of us.
“The majority of claims that we have reviewed have been for flood and landslip damage. They include the storm that brought flooding to the area around Kaiaua in January, and ex-cyclones Gita and Fehi.”
EQC received 99 claims for the January storm, with 61 claims lodged in Auckland and 19 in Thames-Coromandel. There were 133 claims lodged for Fehi with 51 claims received from customers in Tasman and 26 claims in Nelson City. The next largest grouping was 26 claims lodged for the West Coast region.
Of the 263 claims lodged for Gita, Tasman was hit hard again with customers lodging 212 claims. The remaining claims came from a number of districts throughout the country, from Whangarei to Dunedin.
“Community engagement and talking to local residents is a critical part of forming our event response plans. Our team has attended meetings and information sessions to meet with people affected by the storms and we are liaising closely with local councils and other recovery organisations in those areas as well,” says Mrs Keith.
“Unfortunately it’s likely there will be more storms this year, resulting in more flooding and landslips around the country. If customers suffer further damage from these new weather events they need to lodge a new claim, even if they have previously lodged a claim. Our team are happy to help them through the process.
“Anyone lodging an EQC claim for storm, flooding or landslip damage has three months from when the damage occurred. The changes that the Government recently signalled, which included lengthening the claim period, will not take effect until 2019.”
Mrs Keith says that EQC cash settles claims for land damage, enabling the customer to then arranging for the necessary work to clear or repair their land to be undertaken. Often their private insurers are a party to this work as well.
EQC’s storm damage factsheet is available at eqc.govt.nz/storm-damage and the silt and debris inundation factsheet is at eqc.govt.nz/silt-and-debris
Claims can be lodged online at www.eqc.govt.nz/claims, via email on email@example.com, or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243).
EQC Media Contact - David Miller - 029 978 6430, firstname.lastname@example.org