Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Earthquake Commission (EQC) had received 159,318 claims from the 22 February earthquake when the deadline for claims passed at midnight last night.
“This makes the events in Canterbury since 4 September last year by far the biggest natural disaster to hit New Zealand.
“As well as the 159,318 claims received for the 22 February earthquake, another 185,046 had been received relating to the 4 September earthquake and the subsequent events in October, November and December.
“In total EQC has received 344,364 claims for all events dating back to September last year.”
Following widespread publicity there was a surge in calls to EQC claims centres in the weeks leading up to the deadline.
“Calls to the claims centres increased by about 6,000, or 27 per cent on the previous week, so it appears EQC’s advertising and media comment urging people to make a claim worked,” Mr Brownlee said.
Mr Brownlee said no claims could be accepted for the 22 February event past midnight last night.
“Legally EQC can make no exceptions for claims put in after the deadline has passed.”
EQC has paid out more than $17 million dollars in claims since February and over $870 million dollars since last September.
EQC personnel are working hard to process claims as quickly as possible but the volume of claims and the necessity, for insurance purposes, to clearly determine what damage has been caused by a particular event can slow progress.
EQC is still receiving claims for the aftershocks in Christchurch on 16 April (18 July deadline), 30 April (1 August) and 10 May (10 August).
EQC is one of a number of organisations working with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) on rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents. For more information visit www.cera.govt.nz
For more information on EQC visit www.eqc.govt.nz