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Hazard insurance

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) provides natural hazard insurance for damage to land and property. EQC cover is the only land insurance available in New Zealand. Private insurers do not provide cover for land damage. To qualify for EQC cover, people need to have a domestic house policy that covers them for fire damage. All domestic house policies in New Zealand currently provide this. EQC cover is paid for by a levy that insurers collect from all eligible customers.

The types of natural disasters covered by EQC include earthquakes, landslips, volcanic eruptions, hydrothermal activity, tsunamis, storms and floods (but only for damage to land), and fire (if caused by any of the above natural disasters).

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There is a maximum amount EQC can pay out for certain types of natural disaster damage. This was previously set at $150,000 plus GST for property damage, but this increased to $300,000 in October of 2022. There is no maximum payment for land damage.

Your insurance provider will cover natural hazard damage beyond the maximum payment made by EQC. In the event of a natural disaster, you’ll need to make a claim to your insurer. Your insurer will settle the EQC portion of your claim and any portion above the EQC cap of $300,000.

Mitigate your risks

When buying a home in New Zealand, there are several risk mitigation measures that you can take to protect yourself, your whānau, and your investment.

By taking these risk mitigation measures when buying a home in New Zealand, you can make an informed decision and protect yourself against potential risks and hazards. It’s also a good idea to consult with professionals and seek legal advice to ensure that you fully understand the risks and implications of purchasing a property.

Consider the location

Overall, Landcheck reports can help property owners and buyers make informed decisions about earthquake risk and take appropriate steps to mitigate that risk. By providing detailed information about the property, Landcheck reports can help homeowners and buyers ensure their safety in the event of an earthquake.

You should carefully consider the location that you plan to look for properties in as some are more at risk of hazards, such as flood zones or earthquake-prone areas.

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If you’re interested in a property, before moving ahead with due diligence you should first understand if the property is at risk of any natural hazards, as this knowledge may stop you from pursuing the property, saving time and money that you would have otherwise spent.

Conduct a thorough inspection

Before purchasing a property, it’s important to conduct a thorough inspection to identify any defects or issues that could cause problems in the future. You should engage a qualified building inspector to check the property for structural damage, dampness, or other issues that could affect its value or safety.

Check the property history

You should obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report from the local council to check the property history and any potential risks such as flooding, land instability, or environmental hazards. You should also conduct a title search to check for any legal issues or restrictions that could affect the property’s value or use.

Engage professionals

You should engage professionals such as lawyers, real estate agents, and building inspectors to help you navigate any potential risks or legal issues associated with the property.

Purchase insurance

You should purchase insurance to protect yourself against potential risks such as natural hazards, environmental issues, or damage to the property. You should consult with an insurance broker to ensure that you have appropriate coverage for your needs.

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Kiwis trust Landcheck