The Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Gerry Brownlee says settlement offers for the majority of claims from the Kaikōura earthquake are on track to be made by the end of the year.

In the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in November 2016, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and private insurers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help ensure claims were resolved efficiently and in a timely manner.

“Under the agreement, private insurers are acting as EQC’s agents and receive, assess and settle home and contents claims for earthquake damage, even those under the EQC $100,000 damage cap,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The new approach draws from lessons learnt by both EQC and private insurers from the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

“In total, 38,000 residential claims are being managed as a result of the Kaikōura earthquake.

“This makes the Kaikōura earthquake the second-largest claims event in EQC’s history. While Christchurch, Wellington, North Canterbury and Marlborough are the primary locations for claims lodged, claims have also been received from Invercargill through to Northland.

“As of May 31, more than 40 per cent of building and land claims have had their initial assessment completed and 21 per cent of claims have been settled.

“Building assessments are progressing well in the worst-affected communities. About 55 per cent have been completed in Marlborough, 75 per cent in Kaikōura and about 50 per cent in the Hurunui district.

“Of the 5,500 claims that are being managed directly by EQC, 50 per cent of customers’ building and land claims have had their initial assessment completed and 39 per cent have been settled. EQC has almost completed 75 per cent of land and building assessments.

“The intention of the MoU was to reduce the double handling of claims and to speed up settlements for earthquake-affected customers and I’m pleased with the progress being made by both EQC and private insurers,” Mr Brownlee says.

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