The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is advising homeowners whose land suffered damage from landslips or flooding, during the storms in recent days, that they have three months to lodge a claim.
Chief customer officer Trish Keith said the safety and welfare of family, friends, neighbours and community came first and residents had time to contact EQC and discuss their situation.
"We have teams helping communities affected by the storms and ex-cyclones that have hit the country this year, and anyone whose property has been damaged by this latest storm should talk with us."
The EQC covers storm and flood damage to residential land only, with home and contents damage covered by private insurance according to the terms of an individual's policy.
"The lodgement period is still three months from when the damage to a property occurred under the current legislation, and the changes that the Government have recently signalled do not take effect until 2019," Keith said.
"EQC works with first response agencies such as Civil Defence and local councils to understand how many properties are damaged, the type and extent of the damage, whether there are vulnerable customers and what further risk there is of damage to people's sections.
"Each claim is assessed by one of our team and, depending on the type and extent of damage, can also involve geotechnical engineers visiting the property and valuation reports being carried out.
"The more information a customer can provide during the claim process, the more we can understand their requirements and whether their damage is covered under the EQC Act. Even if you don't have all the information you might eventually need to provide, you should still lodge a claim and we can start the process."
The EQC's approach is to cash settle claims for land damage and it is the homeowner's responsibility to arrange for the necessary work to clear or repair their land.
"We will consider a claim for financial costs involved in clearing your section of debris caused by a landslip or flood and our advice is talk to us before you make any repairs and if you need to lodge a claim," Keith said.
The EQC has more specific and detailed information on what it covers on its website – www.eqc.govt.nz/storm-damage.
Claims can be lodged online at www.eqc.govt.nz/claims, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243). The EQC call centre is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.
The EQC covers landslip damage to land, home and contents, within certain limits:
•Your home is generally insured up to a maximum of $100,000 +GST per event, on a replacement value basis.
•Your contents are generally insured up to a maximum of $20,000 +GST per event, on a replacement value basis.
The EQC coverage of land is limited to land that is within your land holding – and includes:
•Land under your home and outbuildings (e.g., shed or garage).
•Land within eight metres of your home and outbuildings.
•Land under or supporting your main access way, up to 60 metres from your home (not driveway surfacing).
The EQC land cover includes:
• Bridges and culverts within the above areas.
• Some retaining walls that are necessary to support or protect your home, outbuildings or insured land.
• The removal of debris, such as silt or fallen trees, from the insured land (not replacement of items on the land, such as trees, plants, lawn and driveways).