EQC classifies Christchurch aftershock a new event

Issue 28 – June 2011

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is classifying the 5.5 aftershock in Christchurch on 6 June 2011 as a new event for insurance purposes. People who have new, or worsened, damage as a result of today's event will need to lodge a new claim with EQC and have 3 months in which to lodge their claim. The deadline for claims for this event is 6 September 2011.

Meanwhile EQC is ahead of where it expected to be with full assessments of properties damaged from the 22 February 2011 earthquake. EQC has completed nearly 19,000 full assessments, which represents good progress and means EQC is on track for its indicative targets for completion of full assessments.

Those properties identified with severe structural damage during the rapid assessment process will receive a full assessment by mid-July; minor structural damage by mid-September and homes with no structural damage will be seen by mid-December.

EQC Chief Executive Ian Simpson said with the volume of claims received and the complexities around determining, for insurance purposes, which event caused the damage, resolving claims is a time consuming exercise.

'We at EQC fully understand people in Christchurch want their claims resolved quickly,' says Simpson. 'However, EQC must ensure payments are correct and there is a rigorous process in place,including determining cause of damage, the event it relates to, clarifying insurance status of the claimant, and verifying all the particulars are correct, before a payment can be released. Due to the volume of claims and the amount of money involved in settling them, we need to get things right.

EQC's project managers Fletcher Construction have also completed more than 13,000 emergency repairs and these should be completed over the next few weeks.

Simpson is also calling for greater Christchurch residents to be aware of possible scams. 'We are aware of people receiving phone calls from people claiming to be from EQC and offering money in return for their claim number. Under no circumstances should people give their claim number over the phone in situations such as this. All EQC staff who make contact with people will be aware of the EQC claim number involved.

'Anyone who is suspicious about the behaviour of people claiming to have an association with EQC, or of people who want to become involved in any aspect of your home's repair, should immediately call the police.'

EQC has already paid out nearly $35 million on claims from 22 February 2011 and a total of $888 million on all claims dating back to the first earthquake on 4 September 2010. So far there have been 10 earthquake events for insurance purposes, including the original earthquake on 4 September 2010.

EQC is one of a number of organisations working with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) on rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents. For more information visit www.cera.govt.nz.

For more information contact Gordon Irving 029 978 6430 or visit the EQC website www.eqc.govt.nz.

Summarised from an Earthquake Commission media release, 6 June 2011.

Published in building.