Earthquake Commission (EQC) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) Levies

EQC’s Natural Disaster Fund and Fire and Emergency New Zealand are both funded via Government levies. Insurance companies, like AA Insurance, include these levies in the premium you pay and they’re passed on to the EQC and FENZ. 

The EQC Levy

The EQC levy (Earthquake Commission levy) helps to fund earthquake and other natural disaster insurance cover provided by EQC. It is included in your Home and Landlord Insurance premium and the exact amount you pay can be found in your policy notices.

The maximum EQC levy per Home or Landlord Insurance Policy is $300 (+ GST) per annum. By paying your Home or Landlord Insurance premium, you automatically pay the EQC levy and gain EQCover. This provides a maximum cover for residential buildings of $150,000 (+ GST).

For more information about what the EQC cover, please read our FAQs below or visit the EQC website.

The Fire and Emergency New Zealand Levy

The FENZ levy (Fire and Emergency levy) helps to fund the services provided by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. It is automatically included in the insurance premium of policies which provide cover against fire, such as motor vehicles (excluding Third Party Car Insurance policies), residential contents and residential properties.

The maximum levy for residential buildings is $106 (+ GST) and $21.20 (+ GST) for residential contents per annum. The exact amount you pay can be found in your policy notices and is calculated as follows:

Insurance Type

FENZ Levy Per Annum (+ GST)

Residential Buildings and Contents

10.6c per $100 insured up to:

  • $100,000 - Residential Buildings

  • $20,000 - Residential Contents

Motor vehicles (less than 3.5 tonne gross laden weight)

$8.45 (flat rate for each motor vehicle)

Other property i.e. contract works, commercial vehicle insurance

10.6c per $100 insured 

For more information please visit the FENZ website.

Frequently asked questions

You’ll find answers for many of your questions here. If you have a more specific question or want more detail, please contact us.

How does EQCover work?

Your Home and Landlord Insurance premium includes an amount for natural disaster insurance, which is provided by the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and is called EQCover.

EQCover provides a maximum cover of $172,500 (incl GST) for residential buildings. If a natural disaster damages your home, the EQC will pay up to this amount to repair or rebuild your home. Your Home or Landlord Insurance Policy will then top this amount up, to a maximum of your Sum Insured, if it will cost more than this to reinstate your home. EQCover also provides cover for your land within certain limits and conditions. For more detail, please visit the EQC website.

What does EQC cover?

EQC covers damage to your home caused by natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis, landslips and geothermal events, as well as fire resulting from any of these. It also covers damage to your land caused by a natural disaster, storm or flood. The maximum cover through the EQC for your building is $172,500 (incl GST). Your Home or Landlord Insurance Policy will top up this amount, up to your Sum Insured, if you need more cover than this.

Damage that has occurred from 30 June 2021 will be looked after by private insurers who will assess, manage and settle all claims for natural disaster on EQC’s behalf under the National Disaster Response Model (NDRM).

For more information please visit the EQC website.

Have EQC levies changed as a result of the Natural Disaster Response Model (NDRM)?

The Natural Disaster Response Model does not impact EQC levy rates; EQC levies will remain the same.

The maximum EQC levy per Home or Landlord Insurance Policy is $300 (+ GST) per annum. By paying your Home or Landlord Insurance premium, you automatically pay the EQC levy and gain EQCover. This provides a maximum cover for residential buildings of $172,500 (incl GST).

You can find out more about the levies included in your insurance premium here.

What is the EQC?

The EQC or Earthquake Commission is a government body set up to help cover damage caused by an earthquake or natural disaster. For more information visit the EQC website.

How is my home insurance premium calculated?

The cost of your home insurance is made up of three components. The first component is your AA Insurance premium, which considers risk factors such as the size and materials that your home is made of and where it's located in the country.

The second component is reinsurance costs, which makes sure we have enough cover to pay all insurance claims in case of a large-scale event.

The final component is the fees and levies collected by all insurance companies on behalf of the government for GST, Fire and Emergency Levy and EQC Levy.

What if I do not wish to be insured for an earthquake?

We have an obligation to protect our customers. Therefore, while we do offer flexibility and optional benefits surrounding accidental damage, we will not remove earthquake cover from your Home and Contents policies due to the extent of loss this can cause. Find out more about our policies

How can I save money on my premium?

If you're concerned about the cost of your insurance, there are things you can do - for example, removing optional beneftis and/or opting for a higher excess will reduce your total premium. You'll also pay less if you choose to pay annually.

Concerned about the cost of your insurance?

Here are some ways to save on your premium

  • Check your contents sum insured – use the online calculator on our website (provided by ‘Sum Insured Pty Ltd’) to check everything is up-to-date and that the cover you have would be enough to replace all your contents if you lost everything. For example, if you have downsized since setting up your policy, you may be paying for more cover than necessary. It’s also important your sum insured is updated when you buy new stuff or upgrade your belongings (especially expensive items like a new TV or sofa) so you’re not caught short in the event you need to claim. Often, the extra bit of cover you could need might not significantly increase your premium.

  • Review your excess – depending on what you think is manageable for your budget, you may want to review your excess. There are different excess options available, in case you need to make a claim, and generally the larger the excess, the smaller the premium. Remember, you’ll need to pay this amount if you make a claim so it should still be affordable. You should also take into account any additional excesses that may

  • Check your home sum insured – use our online calculator to check it’s up-to-date and will sufficiently cover the rebuild of your home. For more information, check out our sum insured page.  

  • Consider how you pay – you can choose to pay your premium annually or spread the cost by fortnightly or monthly direct debit. You’ll pay less if you pay one annual lump sum.

  • Review your benefits – you’ll find your optional benefits listed on your policy schedule or on the Policy Summary page in your My AA Insurance account. For example;

    • If you could use another vehicle while yours is being repaired and wouldn’t need us to provide a rental car, you may wish to remove the optional rental cover benefit from your Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy. Removing this benefit saves $50 (Inc. GST) per year.

    • You may decide you no longer want or need the optional excess-free glass cover benefit for your Home Insurance Policy. Removing this benefit saves $69 (Inc. GST) per year.