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Looking after yourself and your home following the earthquake - 30/10/2018

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EQC Deputy Chief Executive Canterbury and External Affairs Renée Walker says that people have plenty of time to make a claim, after making sure they and their families and friends are safe and looked after.

“We are here to support you when you are ready. Unless you have an urgent need, there is no rush to contact us. We know that it can take time to identify damage to your home, land and contents.

“You have three months from today to lodge a claim, so please focus on your safety and well-being first,” Ms Walker says.

EQC’s website has more information about what EQC covers, how to make a claim and what to do if you need to make urgent repairs to your house at


“Today’s earthquake was widely felt, but these types of deep quakes in the centre of the North Island often produce very little shaking near the epicentre.

“This means that, fortunately, they do not tend to do much damage at the surface,” according to EQC’s General Manager Resilience, Hugh Cowan.

“They are a reminder, however, that New Zealand is a geologically active country and we need to take steps to make our homes safer in earthquakes. The practical things we can do include taking down old brick or concrete chimneys, checking and securing house foundations and securing tall and heavy furniture.”

EQC’s preparedness information on our website has detailed ways of doing this.

Lodging an EQC claim

 People have three months to lodge a claim with EQC from the date on which a natural disaster occurs. The date of this event is 30 October, so people have until Wednesday 30 January 2019 to lodge a claim.

You can lodge claims with EQC online at, via email on or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (326 243). The EQC call centre is open 7am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. Having your insurance policy at hand helps when you contact us.

If you have taken out a home or contents fire insurance policy, EQC covers you against physical loss and damage to your home (usually up to $100,000 + GST), contents (usually up to $20,000 + GST) and a defined area of residential land from:

  • an earthquake
  • a natural landslip
  • a volcanic eruption
  • hydrothermal activity
  • a tsunami.

EQC also insures your residential land (within limits) against storm and flood damage and insures you for fire resulting from any of these natural disasters. If your property isn't damaged after one of these disasters, but damage is imminent as a direct result of one of them, EQC may also provide cover.

Making homes safe

If you need to take action to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weather-tight, please record the work done, take photographs where appropriate, and keep a copy of any bills paid. Reimbursement for temporary or urgent repairs is subject to EQC acceptance of a valid claim. EQC staff will always carry photo identification and usually a phone, if they need to visit your property.

If possible, take photos before moving anything or tidying up. That makes an assessment of the claim easier. Spillages and crockery and glass breakages can be cleared up – anything not perishable should be kept to make assessing claims easier.

Ruined or spilt food and other perishables should be disposed of, but people should list the items as they bury, burn, or dump them.

Once the claim is lodged, an outline of the next steps in the claims process will be sent out.

2 November 2018

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