The Earthquake Commission says assessors will make every effort to deal quickly with serious damage claims related to the Boxing Day aftershocks in Christchurch.
Almost 500 new claims have been lodged so far, with 120 inner-city buildings assessed by Christchurch City Council as unsafe.
EQC chief executive Ian Simpson says the number of claims is not as great as he expected but that is probably due to the holidays.
He expects the number to increase as people return to discover the damage.
Mr Simpson says the claims will be worked through alongside claims from the first earthquake on 4 September.