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Homeowners to benefit from EQC changes

Homeowners to benefit from EQC changes

The building cover cap for EQC claims will increase by $50,000 from 1 July as the Government makes a number of common sense improvements for homeowners dealing with EQC, Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says.

The new cap will now be $150,000 (plus GST), up from $100,000 (plus GST). This is the first time the cap for building cover has been raised since the EQC Act was passed in 1993.

The cap applies to new insurance policies taken out from 1 July, and also comes into effect when individual policies for homeowners come up for annual renewal.

“The higher cap recognises the fact that building costs and house prices have increased. It will mean that fewer over-cap claims are passed on to private insurers,” Grant Robertson said.

The increased claims cap is one of a number of changes to strengthen the EQC Act that the Coalition Government passed in February 2019.

“Dealing with an EQC claim after a natural disaster can be a hugely stressful time for homeowners. The changes this Government has made will make it easier to lodge claims, know more about their property’s history, and increase the amount covered by EQC,” Grant Robertson said.

“We are simplifying how EQC operates and making it easier for homeowners to deal with EQC.”

From 1 July, contents will be removed from EQC cover as people’s house and contents policies with their private insurers are renewed.

“This will mean EQC claims managers can put all of their focus towards helping people fix their homes,” Grant Robertson said.

Two changes to improve the way homeowners deal with EQC have already come into effect.

The first allowed homeowners to access more information about a property’s previous Earthquake Commission claims. The second change increased the time limit for claim notifications from three months to up to two years to give people more time to lodge their claims.

“These are straightforward changes that will take pressure off homeowners and focus EQC on what’s needed to fix people’s houses as quickly as possible,” Grant Robertson says.

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