Insurers and EQC launch “world first” disaster recovery model

Insurers and EQC launch “world first” disaster recovery model | Insurance Business New Zealand

Insurers and EQC launch “world first” disaster recovery model

The Natural Disaster Response Model between The Earthquake Commission (EQC) and eight insurers comes into effect on June 30 and will help New Zealanders support their natural disaster recovery by having a single point of contact for their claims.

EQC chief executive Sid Miller said the new model was a significant improvement on the previous process, which involved claimants dealing with EQC and their private insurer separately.

ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton welcomed the partnership, and said it would deliver a “world-first scheme” that put the customer at the heart of “one of the most unique and responsive natural disaster response platforms globally.”

The eight insurance companies in the partnership - AA Insurance, Chubb, FMG, Ando (Hollard), IAG, MAS, Vero and Tower - represent over 20 insurance brands.

Read more: Reinsurance prices stay firm despite increasing cost of natural disasters

Commenting on the launch of the partnership, IAG New Zealand executive general manager claims, Dean MacGregor said: “We’ve been helping Kiwis recover from natural disasters for many decades, and we know all too well that when disaster strikes, our customers simply want the information and support they need to put their lives back together as quickly as possible.

“IAG has worked closely with EQC, ICNZ and the broader insurance industry to drive these changes because our customers have told us time and again that dealing with multiple agencies to settle insurance claims adds complexity and pain points to the total recovery process.”

“We’re confident the new model we’ve helped put in place will improve outcomes for Kiwis affected by natural disasters,” he added.

“Private insurers can now act on behalf of EQC to process their claims, giving customers a single point of contact. We hope that most New Zealanders will never need to experience the new model first-hand, but, if they do, it will help make their recovery experience as seamless as possible.”

Tower Insurance also welcomed the model, and noted that it had been a long process of collaboration between EQC and the private insurance sector.

“Tower has worked with the EQC and other private insurers over the last 12 months,” the insurer said.

Read more: EQC partners with eight insurers to reduce natural disaster risk

“This has been through using subject matter experts in specialised working groups to agree processes in responding to natural disasters under the new response model, as well as developing the capabilities needed to lodge, manage and settle claims on behalf of EQC.

“It has been a collaborative effort from the organisation with over 50 members of staff involved, representing business units such as communications, data, finance, quality assurance, health and safety, assessment, customer experience, privacy and training.”

Vero’s executive general manager Campbell Mitchell said the model was the result of “many years’ work,” and has incorporated learnings from the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes.

“It’s a huge step in the right direction to enable us to respond faster, more efficiently, and to deliver more certainty for our customers,” Mitchell said.

“The new model will better leverage Vero’s expertise and capacity, and will fundamentally improve the way we can support New Zealanders affected by a natural disaster.”