What to do after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit central New Zealand

By now you will be aware on a large earthquake that hit central New Zealand overnight (14th Nov). Many would have been woken by this.

Your responsibilities
Please take all reasonable steps to preserve your property from more earthquake damage.
This means that, if you’re able to, you should do things like:

  • turning off the water or gas if it may be leaking
  • boarding up broken windows
  • putting tarpaulins over holes in the roof or walls.

You should only do these things if it is safe for you to do so.
Take photos beforehand (if you can), keep broken parts, and keep copies of invoices from tradespeople.

Clean up
If you’re staying in your home, you’ll probably want to clean up spillages and breakages straight away. You should try to:

  • take photographs of the damage before you start cleaning up
  • keep all your damaged goods and parts, except for perishable items (e.g. food from a broken freezer or that has been spilt)
  • make a list of your perishables – and take photos – before you dispose of them.

Make sure you dispose of perishable items safely.

Carry out urgent repairs
Urgent or emergency repairs are work that’s needed to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weathertight.

You should first do all that you can safely do yourself to make your home habitable and protect it from further damage.

You can:

  • Get essential services like toilets and water systems repaired immediately, but you should keep, document or record everything the repairer replaces (and keep a copy of the bill).
  • Clean up spillages of crockery and glass breakages (but you shouldn’t throw anything non-perishable away yet).
  • Dispose of perishables like ruined or spilt food. You should list the items as you dispose of them.

If possible, take photos before moving and repairing anything.

Important: Don’t start permanent repairs until your claim has been settled.

Making a Commercial damage claim

Please contact us ASAP and we will assist you in the claims process – we are here to help.

A claim form can be downloaded here

Making a Home and Contents damage claim

As this was a Natural Disaster, the EQC is the lead insurer if you have suffered damage to your property.

If you’ve suffered damage, you should lodge a claim with EQC as soon as possible.
How to make a claim

Or call EQ C 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243)
From overseas +64 4 978 6400

Claims must be made within 3 months from the date your home, contents or land were damaged by the earthquake.

What is covered by EQC?

Under EQCover, your building is insured up to a maximum of $100,000 +GST and is covered on a replacement value basis. If your loss exceeds the limit above, your private insurance policy will top up the remainder, up to your nominated sum insured.

Your ‘contents’ means ‘personal property’ that is usually in your home. It includes contents that are temporarily removed from your home and is generally insured up to a maximum of $20,000 +GST. If your loss exceeds the limit above, your Private Insurance policy will top up the remainder, up to your nominated sum insured. (www.eqc.govt.nz)

If you have any doubts or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are here to assist you.