8700 Canterbury quake claims rejected

12:16 pm on 2 January 2011

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has rejected almost 9000 claims stemming from the Canterbury quake.

About 500 of the claims declined were deemed to be for damage that pre-dated the quake.

The commission has processed 48,300 claims since the 7.1-magnitude quake hit the region on 4 September.

Of those, 8700 claims have been declined, or about 18%.

About a third of those cases were duplicates in paperwork, while another third were people who could not see any damage to their house but wanted an assessment just to be sure.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson says some of the damage people claimed for was not earthquake related or not evident.

"We train our people ... if there's a crack that might have moss growing inside it, clearly that wasn't caused by a quake four or five months ago, so they can reject that sort of damage."

Mr Simpson says some of the claims have been questionable, including multiple claims for damaged televisions.

The commission can notify police of fraudalent claims but has not yet taken that course of action.

Some 18,800 claims have now been fully paid out.