Proposals to change the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 have been announced by the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Megan Woods.
She says passage of the amending legislation is expected to be by the end of December 2018.
Dr Woods says Cabinet has agreed on changes aimed at improving how the Act functions and to enable the scheme to work more effectively for future natural disasters.
"These are widely agreed, common sense changes that can be made before the independent inquiry into EQC. I’ve asked for them to be brought forward so that, if the worst did happen and we had a major event shortly, these changes will have been made," she says.
“The changes simplify and speed up the claims process, and resolve issues with the EQC Act that have previously been identified by the Ombudsman and the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission.”
Dr Woods says the changes include:
- Increasing the cap limit on EQC residential building cover to $150,000 (plus GST).
- Enabling EQC to accept claim notifications for up to two years after a natural disaster, rather than the current three-month time limit for such notifications.
- Removing EQC insurance cover for contents.
- Clarifying EQC’s authority to share information to support the implementation of the EQC Act and settlement of insurance claims and where this is in the public interest and safety.