House insurance still a quake-zone hurdle

11:25 am on 20 February 2017

Homeowners seeking insurance in earthquake-hit areas from North Canterbury to Wellington face an uncertain wait.

An earthquake damaged home near Lyell Creek, Kaikoura

An earthquake damaged home near Lyell Creek, Kaikoura Photo: RNZ / Joelle Dally

Insurance companies are starting to loosen up their restrictions on new polices for contents in those regions, but house insurance is still restricted.

Restrictions were placed on new policies in November after the 7.8 magnitude Kaikōura earthquake.

That meant prospective buyers could not insure their homes unless they took over the previous owner's policy.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said most insurers were not taking on new cover because of regular seismic activity.

He said restrictions were gradually easing for those looking to take over a lease, once the building was tested for weather-tightness and earthquake damage.