Step 2: Contact your insurance company

After an earthquake get approval from your insurance company before you begin rebuilding or repairing your home.

  1. Lodge a claim with your insurer. If you have already lodged your claim with EQC they will pass your claim to your insurer.
  2. Get approval from your insurance company before you begin rebuilding or repairing your home. Let your insurer know if any urgent safety work is required to protect your home.
  3. Keep invoices and other records of payments on rebuilds and repairs.

If your home and contents have been damaged by the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquake you should lodge a claim with your insurance company in the first instance. You have until midnight 14 February 2017 to lodge a claim:

  • To simplify the process for homeowners, insurance companies will manage some claims for the Earthquake Commission (EQC).
  • The insurance companies will receive, assess and settle home and contents claims for earthquake damage from their own customers, even if those claims are under the EQC cap.
  • If homeowners have already lodged building or contents claims with EQC these will be passed on to their insurance company.
  • This does not include land damage, as land is not covered by private insurance policies. People who have suffered land damage, such as a rupture across their section, will have the land portion of their claim managed by EQC and should contact EQC directly to discuss land related enquiries.
  • The approach will not change homeowners’ entitlements under their own insurance policy or the Earthquake Commission Act.

If your claim is cash settled, and your rebuild or repair gets underway, keep invoices and any other records that show you have used your cash settlement to pay for repair work. This shows that your payment has been used to repair your property. Your EQC cover and/or private insurer cover could be affected in a future claim if you do not use your cash settlement to repair or rebuild your earthquake damage.

Insurers will not pay to repair damage that has been previously cash settled and not repaired.

You should use the cash settlement payment to repair or replace your damaged property as soon as possible. Getting the work completed will reduce the potential risk of further damage occurring and costs escalating. You should also talk to your bank if there is a delay, as uncompleted repairs may affect your mortgage.

Check with your insurance company if your existing home insurance policy applies during building repairs or whether you need a new policy to cover the construction work. You may need Contract Works insurance in place while you are building or repairing your property.

Most home policies as well as contents policies provide cover for temporary accommodation and removal and storage of goods if your home is uninhabitable due to loss. Each policy wording will differ so people should check with their insurer.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: