Earthquake Commission assessors have spoken to distressed homeowners in Kaiapoi and the Christchurch suburb of Bexley.
The commission says it's likely the houses viewed so far have been so badly damaged by last Saturday's quake that they will qualify for the maximum payout of $100,000 plus GST, provided the owners have private insurance.
The remaining value of their houses will be covered by their own insurance company.
The commission will also recompense people for their sections - but only to the pre-earthquake market value for a minimum-sized section as set by the local council.
The minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Bill English, accompanied the assessors, saying it's important to reassure people.