National calls for improvements on EQC claims

How long does the EQC claim process take?

National calls for improvements on EQC claims

Insurance News

By Jonalyn Cueto

National has called on the Labour government to fast-track the EQC claim process. Toka Tu Ake EQC (EQC) received claims to cover for damages caused by flooding. However, the coverage of EQCover is limited to residential land, and some areas are out of their coverage.

“Data from EQC Minister Dr Deborah Russell shows that of the nearly 3,000 claims received since February 2023, only 249 have been completed. This means that more than 90% of claims are still sitting somewhere in the system, leaving thousands living in limbo.” National cyclone recovery spokesperson Chris Penk said in a press release.

“At the rate that EQC claims are being completed, with just 15 claims resolved per week, it will take over three years for the backlog to be cleared.”

“National is calling on the Labour Government to engage more geotechnical assessors, from overseas if necessary – whatever it takes to fast-track this process,” Penk said. “Each outstanding claim represents a frustrated homeowner unable to settle their insurance matters, hindering their ability to make decisions for the future and causing emotional and financial distress.

“To make matters worse, the government has contracted only two geotechnical firms to complete critical geotechnical assessments for EQC across New Zealand. Dr Russell admits that a lack of geotechnical engineers is slowing things down but also claims that she’s happy with EQC’s progress with cyclone claims,” he said.

“The Labour Government promised a quick recovery for affected residents, but we've now had four months characterised by delays and despair."

According to Toka Tū Ake EQC, partner insurers received around 14,300 EQCover claims by the end of June. This follows damages caused by flooding in January and Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Labour must show urgency now for these affected residents by ensuring assessments take place much more quickly to give affected communities the certainty they deserve,” Penk said.

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