The Insurance Council has warned MPs that legislative changes must ensure a building's internal fit-out is up to the same standard as its engineering work, or lives could be put at risk.
Parliament's Local Government and Environment Select Committee is considering feedback from submitters on proposed changes to earthquake legislation.
Council insurance manager John Lucas told the committee a building might not collapse in an earthquake, but the internal structure could still present a danger.
Mr Lucas said it would not be a big cost to ensure that work to fit out a building - such as ceilings and ventilation - is up to standard.
He feared the bill did not adequately address all the dangers associated with quake-prone buildings.