More than 4000 claims have poured into the Earthquake Commission following the central New Zealand earthquakes back in July, and damage assessment will begin today.

EQC says it will spread 20 assessment teams across the lower North Island and upper South Island.

They'll will check out home, land and contents damage.

It's expected to take between three and six months for all claims to be assessed, with around 75-per cent concerning properties in the lower North Island.


EQC's approach will be different to that used in Christchurch with assessors using a one-visit approach, looking at house, land and contents damage in one fell swoop.

Those people who've suffered damage from subsequent aftershocks are being reminded to submit a new claim each time.

The basics of claiming

All customers have three months from the date of the damage occurring to submit a claim for damage. For instance, the deadline for claiming from the 6.5 magnitude quake on 21 July is 21 October, 2013. If you have already lodged a claim for damage after the first 19 July Cook Strait earthquake event, but suffered further damage after the 21 July event, you must file another new claim.

EQC covers earthquake damage to homes (up to $100,000 + GST), contents (up to $20,000 + GST) and a defined area of residential land. Customers must have had a fire insurance contract with an insurance company on the residential building at the time of the event to make a building claim, and/or a policy for contents to make a contents claim.

To lodge a claim, customers may call 0800 DAMAGE or lodge a claim online at EQCs website Our Call Centre is open:

7am - 9pm Monday to Friday

8am - 6pm Saturday

Customers should take action to make their properties safe, sanitary or secure, where required. Keep good records, including photographs - as the costs incurred may be recoverable if you have a valid claim.