EQC Canterbury payouts hit $3b

12:18 pm on 2 April 2012

The Earthquake Commission says it has paid out $3 billion on claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes.

Commission chief executive Ian Simpson says that's about a quarter of the estimated total liability of $12 billion, which will be paid out as claims are settled over the next two to three years.

Mr Simpson says while progress is being made, there is still a long way to go.

He says nowhere else in the world has there been an insurance event made up of a number of ongoing events.

The commission has settled more than 100,000 of the 413,000 building claims lodged since the quake on 4 September 2010.

Mr Simpson says more than 48,000 new claims were filed after the 23 December earthquake.

He says in total, the commission has received roughly the same number of claims as resulted from Hurricane Katrina in the United States, which the insurance industry considers the costliest natural disaster in history.