New EQC Natural Disaster Response Model: What You Should Know

Important information for insurance customers.

If you own property in Canterbury, Wellington, or another part of New Zealand prone to seismic activity, you’ll be interested to know about the changes to EQC policy that have come into effect recently.

The Earthquake Commission is a Crown entity that exists to provide natural disaster insurance, administer the Natural Disaster Fund, and support research and education on natural disasters and how to reduce their impact. Their new Natural Disaster Response Model is intended to improve the experience of insurance customers in the event of another disaster. It uses a collaborative approach for a simple and efficient process.

Here’s what you will need to know as an insurance customer.

From the 30th of June 2021, insurers are the single point of contact for insurance recovery should your home or land be damaged in a natural disaster. All claims will be handled directly by the insurer on behalf of EQC, so there is no confusion about who you need to contact or communicate with.

This new model has been created to address the dual insurance system that was a source of confusion during the aftermath of the last major Canterbury earthquakes. That system saw customers making two claims, to an insurer and EQC. Under the new model, private insurers will manage a claim in its entirety.

What does that mean for clients of insurance brokers?

Simply that your broker will make the process even easier for you by lodging a claim on your behalf. From there, you will be contacted by the insurer to assess, progress, and finalise the claim.

At Runacres, we can review the process for you on various online insurer portals, providing assistance where necessary. If your claim exceeds its cap, we will activate our normal claims advocacy piece as per our usual practice and advocate for you in any way possible.

As is the case with just about any type of insurance, using a broker makes the natural disaster claims process much simpler. The new arrangement contributes to that to ensure that the experience is even smoother for all involved.

EQC Chief Executive Sid Miller said of the updated Natural Disaster Response Model:

“We know that EQC cannot respond to a large natural hazard event alone, and this new partnership will streamline the insurance process and ensure we make best use of existing sector capability and expertise to meet the needs of New Zealanders when the next natural disaster occurs. Once set up, it will double our capacity to manage claims from a natural disaster.”

There are far too many New Zealanders who will be familiar with the pitfalls of the previous system, due to the devastating earthquakes that took place in Canterbury in 2010 and 2011. We hope that no one will have to make claims for natural disaster-related damage in the near future, but it is always a possibility. Should disaster of any kind strike in New Zealand, this model should streamline the response and have as many Kiwis as possible back in fully functioning homes within a shorter time frame.

If you would like to find out more or want to find out whether your home and land are properly insured for any eventuality, get in touch with the Runacres team. We love to help Kiwis assess risk and find the insurance cover that provides peace of mind.