New Zealand to overhaul natural disaster insurance programme

New Zealand to overhaul natural disaster insurance programme | Insurance Business New Zealand

New Zealand to overhaul natural disaster insurance programme

A bill that seeks to update the claims system for natural disaster insurance has been introduced in Parliament. The bill will also rename the Earthquake Commission (EQC) to Toka Tū Ake – Natural Hazards Commission, reflecting its role beyond earthquakes.

According to David Clark (pictured above), minister responsible for the EQC, the Natural Hazards Insurance Bill incorporates the lessons learned over the last decade by simplifying the current Earthquake Commission Act and incorporating recommendations from Dame Silvia Cartwright’s public inquiry.

“This government is improving the Earthquake Commission scheme, so future New Zealanders don’t have to go through the same traumatic experiences as the people of Canterbury,” Clark said.

Other actions proposed by the bill include laying down rules for mixed and multi-use buildings, clarifying regulations on repairing buildings and land following a landslip or other land damage, simplifying the excesses and calculations for retaining walls, bridges and culverts, and introducing a claimant code and a standing dispute resolution service.

Following a natural disaster event, claimants will continue to lodge claims with their respective insurers to access entitlements via the Toka Tū Ake – Natural Hazards Commission.

“Toka Tū Ake translates as ‘the foundation from which we stand strong together’ – acknowledging the organisation’s role supporting New Zealand to both prepare for and recover from natural hazards,” Clark said.