Did you suffer damage to your home, contents or land following the earthquakes on 14 November? If so, you may be able to claim compensation under EQC (Earthquake Commission) cover. Here are the steps to lodging a claim.

During the clean-up

If possible, take photos of the damage before you clean-up. It’ll also pay to hang on to broken items rather than throwing them away. Keep a list of damaged goods, including perishable food that requires disposal. The claims process should run smoother if you can supply well-documented evidence of your loss.

Carry out emergency repairs to make sure your property is safe, secure and weather-tight. Keep receipts for these repairs. Under EQC cover, you must take reasonable steps to minimise damage following a natural disaster. However, you should only attempt repairs if it’s safe to do so.

Don’t start permanent repairs until your claim is settled.

EQC cover

Consumers with a home or contents fire insurance policy from a private insurer, such as AA Insurance, AMI Insurance or State Insurance, can lodge a claim with the EQC where damage to their home, land or contents has occurred as a result of the quakes.

The EQC’s cover for home and contents is usually capped at $100,000 (plus GST) and $20,000 (plus GST) respectively. You’ll have to rely on your private insurance policy if the cost of damage exceeds these caps.

EQC excess

Like a standard insurance policy, the EQC deducts an excess when settling claims. In practice, this means it won’t be worth claiming for minor property damage.

Home: EQC deducts an excess of $200 if your building claim is $20,000 or less; or 1% of your claim if it’s more than $20,000.

Contents: EQC deducts an excess of $200, regardless of the amount claimed.

Contacting the EQC

You have three months to lodge a claim with the EQC for damage caused by Monday’s quakes.

There are various methods for lodging a claim:

If you lodge a claim, you’ll be asked for details of your private home and/or contents policy. You can save time if you have your policy schedule on hand.