Warning to homeowners on damage claims

8:16 am on 13 September 2010

The Earthquake Commission says homeowners who employ their own private engineers without first having an earthquake damage claim validated by the commission will not be reimbursed.

The commission's insurance manager, Lance Dixon, says any claims for damage need to be lodged with the commission, which has already received 48,000 claims for quake damage to residential property and expects 100,000 altogether.

Mr Dixon says many insurance policies require claims to be validated by the commission first, and it will not pay out for any engineers hired independently, before an insurance assessor can examine the damage.

Big boost in inspectors planned

The Earthquake Commission also hopes to boost its team of building inspectors in Christchurch from 60 to 400 in the coming weeks.

Mr Dixon told Morning Report that each of the assessors currently on the job is getting through four to five building inspections a day.

A team of 400 should be able to assess more than 1000 properties a day, he says.

He adds that the commission will not cover farmland claims because it is a residential insurer.