Earthquake Commission Legislation changes

Effective 1 July 2019, the New Zealand government has made changes to the Earthquake Commission Act to better meet the needs of New Zealanders in the case of a major event. 

What does this mean?

EQC no longer involved in contents claims

Previously, the Earthquake Commission provided cover of up to $20,000 towards natural disaster claims for your contents. The Earthquake Commission will no longer offer contents cover and won’t be involved in contents claims. Instead, you’ll simply claim directly through your own contents insurance policy. 

An increase from $100k to $150k on the EQC cap for building claims

The Earthquake Commission is increasing the cover it provides for natural disaster claims on your home from $100,000 to $150,000 (+ GST). You can still call your insurer in the first instance to confirm when and how to involve the Earthquake Commission.

You’ll have longer to notify the EQC regarding a claim

The Earthquake Commission is increasing the timeframe for lodging a natural disaster claim, from three months to two years. If an event does occur, it is always best if you notify your insurer or the EQC of damage as soon as possible, as in some cases delays could adversely impact your cover. The sooner we know, the sooner we can help.

EQC can share information collected about residential property claims

The EQC has advised it may now share information about your property claims with other parties who may require it, such as private insurers when they are acting on behalf of EQC to settle claims, or prospective buyers of the property. The Earthquake Commission will not be sharing your personal or financial information as they are still bound by the Privacy Act.

These are industry wide changes, applying to all insurance companies in New Zealand.

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.

When levies change, this can affect the cost of your insurance, no matter which provider you’re with. The good news is, because you’re with us, we do everything we can to make sure you’re only paying what you need to.

Concerned about the cost of your insurance?

Here are some ways to save on your premium

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.

Choose a higher excess – depending on what you think is manageable for your budget. There are different excess options available, should you need to make a claim, and generally the larger the excess, the smaller the premium.

Review your benefits – and remove those you don’t need anymore. For example;

  • If you have access to another vehicle, you may wish to remove the rental car option from your comprehensive car policy.
  • You may decide you don’t want the excess-free glass option for your home policy.
  • Excess-free hearing aid cover on your contents policy may no longer be necessary.

Check your home sum insured – use our online calculator to make sure you have the right level of cover to rebuild your property should you need to. If you have insured more than it would cost, you may be paying more than necessary.

Check your contents sum insured – use our online calculator to make sure you have the right level of cover to replace your contents should you need to. If you have downsized since setting up your policy, you may be paying more than necessary. It’s also important your sum insured is updated when you accumulate more items, so you’re not caught short in the event you need to claim.

Ensure your property is secure – For your contents, a security alarm will help you save on your premium.

Check your discounts – we offer a range of discounts available across AA Insurance policies such as our Multi Policy Discount and AA Member Discount. See our Discount Terms and Conditions for more.

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