Three months allowed for quake damage claims

7:29 am on 25 September 2010

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) says it will accept claims for damage from the Canterbury earthquake for up to three months from the date the damage occurred.

People have been repeatedly told to lodge claims within 30 days, and the commission says while this is the statutory notice period for claims to be made, the law also gives an alternative of three months under exceptional circumstances.

The EQC says it interprets this to mean claimants from the Canterbury earthquake should have the full three months to present their case.

Chief executive Ian Simpson says that, to remove any doubt, regulations will be made under the EQC Act to formally extend the notice period for claims.

Pricing will be checked - Key

Prime Minister John Key says mechanisms are being put in place to prevent the Government being ripped off by tradespeople working on quake-damaged buildings.

Mr Key says they want to speed up the process of payment of damage claims and streamline the system for applications.

But he says in order to do so, the Government needs to be confident tradespeople are not increasing their prices to an unreasonable level.

"There are mechanisms for working our way through that and making sure that we test that we're not actually getting a bad deal," he says.