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Canterbury quake damage mostly under EQC cap

The Insurance Council of New Zealand expects few domestic claims following Saturday’s 5.7-magnitude earthquake in Canterbury.

CEO Tim Grafton told today most of the damage will fall under the Earthquake Commission (EQC) cap.

The commission pays out on the first $NZ100,000 ($93,110) of damage to residential properties, with any sum exceeding that falling to private insurers.

“Almost all the residential claims are likely to go to low-level damage below the EQC cap,” Mr Grafton said.

However, there may be some commercial claims, which are not covered by the commission.

Mr Grafton says properties still under construction or repair following the 2011 earthquakes are vulnerable and may have been damaged.

“Today we are inspecting the properties that were being rebuilt following the last earthquake,” he said.

The EQC says it has had almost 500 claims so far. There are reports of liquefaction, and it has sent geotechnical engineers to assess the damage.

CEO Ian Simpson says the commission has increased staff numbers in its call centre to handle claims, which can be lodged for up to three months after the quake.

“It can take some time for the picture regarding claims to emerge, as people come to terms with what’s happened and have a chance to take stock,” he said.

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