The Earthquake Commission is advising homeowners who suffered landslip damage from recent bad weather to lodge a claim.
Manager National Customer Care, Robyn Nation, says the safety and welfare of family, friends and neighbours come first and after that, it's good to lodge your EQC claim so we can work to quickly resolve it.
"We work to assist and support local communities when they are affected by storms, and there have been a few this year. Anyone whose property was damaged by the weekend's bad weather or further forecast heavy rain should talk with us. While it's good to have the claim lodged quickly, you have three months from when the damage occurs."
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.
"Storms are a regular occurrence, and we have had a number already this year. Unfortunately, some regions are being hit with the bad weather more than once and, in those instances, people need to lodge a claim for each event. Our team is happy to help people through the claim lodgement process," says Mrs Nation.
"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.
"We will consider a claim for financial costs involved in urgent repairs that might include clearing debris caused by a landslip or flood. Our advice is to 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).
There is more specific and detailed information on what we cover at www.eqc.govt.nz/storm-damage. Claims can be lodged online at www.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.