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22 February 2023

EQCover: What Toka Tū Ake covers for flood or storm damage

Everything you need to know about EQCover.

If your property is damaged in a storm or flood, EQCover will provide some cover for damage to the residential land.

Your private insurer will cover any damage to your home and contents, in line with your house and contents insurance policies.


How do I get EQCover?

You automatically have EQCover if you have private house insurance which includes fire insurance – which most policies do.

In the event of a natural disaster, contact your private insurer first. It will assess, manage and settle your Toka Tū Ake EQC and private insurance claims. This means you have one point of contact, rather than having to contact both Toka Tū Ake EQC and your insurer.

What does EQCover for land mean?

EQCover is provided for land under or within 8 metres of your home and certain outbuildings, such as a shed or garage. Land under or supporting your main accessway to the property is also covered, up to 60m from your home.

To qualify, land must be within the boundaries shown on your Record of Title. It may also include a right of way over a neighbouring property (if it’s a legal easement).

Some cover is also provided for bridges and culverts within the boundaries mentioned above, and some retaining walls that are necessary to support or protected the insured buildings or land areas.

EQCover will cover the cost to repair damage to insured land, or the value of the land – whichever is less. The maximum payout is capped at the land value.

If a landslip has also occurred, EQCover will cover the damage to your home and surrounding insured residential land, up to the applicable EQCover building and land caps.

Clearing silt and debris after a storm or flood

If silt or debris have been swept onto your land by wind or water, EQCover may cover the cost of the clean-up, up to the land cap. EQCover can cover the cost of removing debris from your insured land, as well as removing silt that is 15mm or deeper. Generally, silt that is less than 15mm deep will gradually disappear in the weeks following the floods and you may not need to remove it.

EQCover will also cover the cost to repair any land scour (evacuation of land caused by water flowing over it) from your insured land, up to the land cap.

What to do after a disaster

While making sure your family and friends are safe is the first step, the second step is to gather documentation to show the damage and call your insurer ASAP.

Take as many photos or videos as possible, especially before making any emergency repairs, moving items or throwing things out.

You’ll need to discuss any non-urgent repairs with your insurer first.

Once your claim is lodged, your insurer will discuss with you how best to evaluate the damage. Engineers or other experts may be brought in to do assessments and to estimate repair costs. For a land claim, it’s likely a registered valuer will visit.

When your claim is ready to be settled, your insurer will get in touch and explain the outcome and the settlement amount (minus any excess). Then you can get on with repairs.

What about cover for other natural disasters?

Toka Tū Ake EQC provides natural disaster insurance for homes for these natural disasters:

  • earthquake;
  • natural landslip;
  • volcanic eruption;
  • hydrothermal activity;
  • tsunami;
  • storm (land cover only);
  • flood (land cover only);
  • fire which occurs because of any of the above.

In the event of a natural disaster (excluding storms and floods), you have up to $150,000 (plus GST) worth of EQCover for damage to your home – this is commonly called the ‘EQCover building cap’.

While the cap was increased to $300k from 1 October 2022, this change could take up to 12 months as individual policies come up for renewal. The revised cap will apply to all new policies issued from October 2022.

If the damage to your home is over the cap, your private insurer should pay out – up to the claim limits of your policy. It’s likely EQCover and your private insurer will deduct an excess, too.

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