14 Nov 2017

Kaikōura quake: EQC closes in on full settlement

11:19 am on 14 November 2017

The Earthquake Commission is confident of having all claims for residential damage from the Kaikōura earthquake settled within the next four months.

Kaikoura earthquake, the property of the Solomon family is severe, a meter wide crack runs around 400m along the west side of the house.

Property damage following the Kaikōura earthquake. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The 7.8 magnitude quake that struck a year ago today generated 39,000 claims.

Unlike the Christchurch earthquake - where EQC itself admitted that it struggled to settle cases in a timely or satisfactory way - this time private insurers carried out assessments on EQC's behalf.

This enabled claims to be dealt with more quickly.

Another difference was that all claims were being cash settled, rather than EQC carrying out repairs.

Having 65 percent settled by the end of October was a good result, EQC manager Trish Keith said.

"By the time we got to signing the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] with the private insurers it was December. So I think from there by the time we got people into the area I think it's a fair representation of the way the event unfolded and the difficulties of getting in there."

Ms Keith said because of this, EQC was paying close attention to the amounts homeowners were being paid out.

"We have been running a quality assurance programme across the settlements as they come through... we make sure, and the private insurers are making sure, that customer settlements are fair and will enable them to take on the repairs that they need to take."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs