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EQC Claims Process Continues In Lockdown Phase

The Earthquake Commission will continue to process claims for damage caused by natural disasters, including reopened Canterbury claims, despite its offices having to shut down.

In response to the Government directives on March 23, all EQC staff are now working from home until further notice.

All claim lodgement channels remain open; and claims will continue to be managed and settled, however, all face-to-face interactions will cease. This will cause delays to managed repairs currently under construction, as well as onsite assessments and scoping.

“We realise how frustrating this will be for those who have been in the claims process for a while,” said EQC Deputy Chief Executive Renée Walker.

“We thank our customers for their patience and hope they recognise these are extraordinary times and that everyone’s health and well-being needs to take priority.

“While we are operating this way, the best way to contact us is via email or phone. Customers can contact the person managing their claim if they have their details or, if they are not sure who to contact our team is available on info@eqc.govt.nz and 0800 DAMAGE (326 243) or +64 4 978 6400 if calling from overseas”.

Ms Walker said that she was proud how quickly the organisation had been able to move into the lock-down phase while still carrying out most of its core responsibilities.

“All parts of EQC, especially our Pandemic Response Team and the IT teams have done an incredible amount of work to enable everyone to work from home,” said Ms Walker.

She added that EQC’s response in the past few days has demonstrated how far the organisation has come since the first Canterbury earthquakes in 2010.

“We have been working hard to learn from our past mistakes and feedback from customers to finetune EQC for the future. We may not be dealing with a natural disaster, but our team’s response gives me confidence EQC is much better placed to respond to any future event.”

Background:

1. As at March 23, EQC is operating at Level 4 of their Claims Pandemic Plan. This means:

a. All claims staff are working from home;

b. All claim lodgement channels remain open;

c. No site visits will be conducted – new claims will be reviewed to determine whether a desktop assessment, or alternative form of assessment can occur;

d. All jobs in construction have been made safe and secure and will remain closed until the lockdown period is over;

e. Settlements will continue – all settlement meetings that would have been conducted face-to-face will occur via phone or video conference; and

f. Our usual Resolution processes will continue with any resolution meetings that would have been conducted face-to-face will occur via phone or video conference.

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