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In the wake of recent events including the Canterbury earthquake, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) has reevaluated New Zealand’s 1993 Earthquake Commission Act and made changes to natural disaster coverage that affect the country’s property owners. So what exactly are the changes, and how might they affect you? Let’s dive in.

Why have the natural disaster coverage laws changed?

EQC has taken on board lessons from the Canterbury earthquake and more recent earthquakes and implemented law changes designed to improve the entire disaster claim process, from efficiency to customer experience.

Who do the changes affect?

If you own or oversee a residential property that has a policy encompassing fire insurance, the new laws will have an impact on you. You should also pay attention if you’re a tenant.

What are the new laws?

The new laws came into effect in two lots earlier this year. From February 1, the amount of time you have to submit a claim for natural disaster damage has been expanded from three months to two years. EQC has also broadened their right to share property-related information in order to expedite and settle claims.

As of July 1, the $20,000 EQCover for contents has been eliminated, meaning EQC no longer provides contents coverage. The residential building coverage cap, however, has been increased from $100,000 to $150,000. If you currently have fire insurance coverage, these changes become binding on your annual renewal date.

If you need any help with your personal or business insurance, please contact us.