New Zealand Law Society - EQC and Action Group agree settlement principles

EQC and Action Group agree settlement principles

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The Earthquake Commission (EQC) and the EQC Action Group have agreed that the principles that guide EQC's assessment and settlement of building claims meet the requirements of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

The EQC Action Group - which represents 89 customers - has sought a series of declarations in the HIgh Court to clarify EQC's liability under the Act. EQC says that after discussions, the two parties have determined that there is no material disagreement between them.

The parties have agreed on a joint statement that responds to concerns raised by the Action Group.

The joint statement:

  • Reaffirms EQC's position that it will reinstate earthquake damage to a condition substantially the same as "when new", which includes complying with any applicable laws.
  • Makes clear that if to repair an earthquake damaged part of a house means work is required on an undamaged part of the house, EQC will cover the cost of this extra work.
  • Also reaffirms that while EQC gives due consideration to the MBIE guidance on floor levels it does not use the guidance as its only benchmark to determine whether or not it has fulfilled its repair obligations under the EQC Act.
  • Reassures EQC customers that the standard of repair used by EQC is the same whether they are cash settled or if their home is repaired as part of the Canterbury Home Repair Programme.

EQC says that how it settles any particular claim applying the principles in the joint statement depends on a raft of facts specific to each home.

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