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Earthquake and other natural disaster claims 

In the event of an earthquake, volcanic eruption, natural landslip, tsunami or hydrothermal activity, the Earthquake Commission (EQC), provides natural disaster insurance for residential homes and some of the land within defined limits. This insurance is called EQCover and you need to have home insurance to access it.

We've put together some frequently asked questions about insurance cover and claims following a natural disaster. We make every effort to keep this information up to date, but recommend you check the EQC website for the latest information on this cover.    

How much time do I have to make a claim with the EQC?

You have 2 years from when the damage occurred, but we suggest you make a claim soon after an event.

Who do I contact for residential home claims?

Claims for your home should be reported to the EQC in the first instance:

  • complete the EQC online claim form or
  • call the EQC on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243) or +64 978 6400 if calling from overseas.

We recommend that after you report your claim to the EQC, you contact our claims team. This is because there are some items covered by our home insurance and contents insurance policies which are not covered by the EQC. Examples of this can include the surface of driveways and paths, contents items, and alternative accommodation.

Who do I contact for residential contents claims?

For residential contents insurance claims, please contact our claims team.  

Who do I contact for claims related to land?

EQC takes care of land claims and will assess land damage, as land is not covered by private insurance policies. The EQC cover for land includes:

  • the land under the home,
  • the land within 8 metres of the home,
  • the land of the main access-way (or under or supporting the main access-way) up to 60 metres from the home, but not the driveway (ie. any artificial surfaces like concrete or asphalt that cover the access-way).

To lodge a claim for land with EQC:

  • complete the EQC online claim form or
  • call the EQC on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243) or +64 978 6400 if calling from overseas.

If both your home and land have been affected, these can be reported together, so you only need to lodge one claim.

If I make emergency repairs or clean up my home will it impact my claim?

You are able to secure your property and make temporary repairs for safety or to prevent further damage or discomfort. 

  • Get essential services like toilets and water systems repaired immediately, but make sure you keep everything the repairer replaces, and keep a copy of the bill. 
  • Clean up spillages or crockery and glass breakages, but don't throw away anything not perishable.
  • List any perishable items before you dispose of them.  
  • Remove water-damaged property – the sooner it is out, the drier your premises will be (especially true for carpets).

If possible, take photos before moving and repairing anything. This will help to assess the amount of damage.

What should I do if my home is uninhabitable? 

If you are unable to live in your home, please contact our claims team. 

Who do I contact for motor vehicle, trailers or boat claims?

The EQC does not cover motor vehicles, trailers or boats. To report a claim under your policy, please contact our claims team.

Does EQC cover businesses?

The EQC does not provide cover for commercial buildings. If you have a mixed-usage property ie residential and business, you will need to check your policy to see whether EQC coverage applies. 

We insure commercial buildings provided the policy includes Earthquake or Disaster Damage cover.

Who do I contact for business insurance claims?

In the first instance:

  • Take photos of all damage including any spoiled freezer/fridge contents
  • Arrange emergency repairs and secure your premises 
  • Remove water damaged property – the sooner it is out the drier your premises will be (especially true for carpets)
  • Don’t throw property away – unless it is perishable in which case take photos and notes before you discard it
  • Seek engineer advice on the structural integrity of your building, and get clearance
  • Take account of lost business, lost production, staff wages etc

To report claims for business or commercial property damage please contact our claims team.

In most cases, your insurance company will send an assessor to look at your property and confirm what repairs and replacements are needed.