2 Feb 2012

EQC review to address anomalies

10:12 pm on 2 February 2012

The Earthquake Commission says a review into how it operates will address long-standing anomalies in the scheme.

A Ministerial briefing reveals the review will consider the removal of contents cover from EQC insurance, re-examine the policy rationale for land cover, and consider inflation-related adjustments for caps, excesses and premiums.

The review will also look at the potential to introduce different premium pricing based on where people live and how safe their house is.

Commission chief executive Ian Simpson says removing content cover would free up EQC to do more of what it should be doing.

"It seems strange that we are spending resources and time on trying to settle $500 contents claims when we should be focused on getting people back into their houses", he says.

Mr Simpson says private insurers could handle those claims more efficiently.

He says the current cap of $100,000 cover, which was set in 1993, is probably not adequate anymore.

Mr Simpson says that was probably the average cost of building a house in New Zealand, and today it's nothing like that.

He says they need to look at whether caps should be raised automatically in line with either CPI or index to building costs.

Mr Simpson says if the caps are not raised then eventually the scheme becomes pointless because of inflation.