EQC, Suncorp agree to settle Canterbury quake claim costs

EQC, Suncorp agree to settle Canterbury quake claim costs | Insurance Business New Zealand

EQC, Suncorp agree to settle Canterbury quake claim costs

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) and Suncorp New Zealand have agreed to settle cost allocations for claims resulting from the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

The series of earthquakes, which began more than a decade ago, caused a number of complexities in allocating building and land damage and the cost of repair between different earthquakes events.

According to EQC chief executive Sid Miller, Vero and AA Insurance – the property insurers under Suncorp New Zealand – have agreed with EQC to resolve the allocation of costs, which was formalised in October 2020.

“This is the first agreement of its kind between EQC and a private insurer with respect to the Canterbury earthquakes and is a significant milestone for EQC, Vero and AA Insurance in the Canterbury earthquake recovery programme,” said Miller.

Meanwhile, Suncorp New Zealand CEO Jimmy Higgins says the settlement demonstrates how the company has focussed on working collaboratively with EQC and the industry to address issues from the Canterbury earthquakes.

“Resolving these costs with EQC without resorting to costly and time-consuming court proceedings enables both organisations to move forward with work that will deliver better outcomes for our customers,” he said.

Higgins added that Suncorp is working on applying its learnings from Canterbury to improve the experience of New Zealanders in future natural disaster events. The new natural disaster response model announced by EQC and the insurance industry this month, he said, is an important step the right direction.

Miller credited Vero’s team as having been instrumental in the development of the Natural Disaster Response Agreement.

“Vero has been a strong advocate for this model and the team there has worked hard to support the design and testing of new approaches to natural disasters,” he said.