The Earthquake Commission (EQC) of New Zealand has partnered with eight private insurers to launch new natural disaster response model in the country.

Under the new partnership, anyone with home insurance whose home or land is affected in a natural disaster will only need to lodge one claim through their private insurer.

The insurer will then evaluate, manage and settle the claim, and will work with EQC to manage its portion of the payout.

Additionally, the insurers will also offer data to EQC about where the insured homes are located, allowing the commission to better model its exposure to future natural hazards.

This new model is expected to come into practise from the second quarter of next year.

New Zealand Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said: “These arrangements will ensure that customers can deal with their insurer who will assess, manage and settle their claim.

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“This will ensure a more effective and efficient response, delivering simplicity and certainty for customers during a very stressful time.

“Customers must always come first and developing these arrangements in partnership with EQC will ensure New Zealand has one of the best natural disaster response platforms in the world,”

AA Insurance, Chubb, FMG, Ando (Hollard), IAG, MAS, Vero and Tower are the insurers who are collaborating with EQC on the new initiative.

EQC chief executive Sid Miller noted that the partnership enhances the model used in the wake of the Kaikōura earthquake, and more recently in responding to the Northland floods.

He said: “We know that EQC cannot respond to a large natural hazard event alone, and this new partnership will streamline the insurance process and ensure we make best use of existing sector capability and expertise to meet the needs of New Zealanders when the next natural disaster occurs. Once set up, it will double our capacity to manage claims from a natural disaster.”

EQC said it is currently working with individual insurers to satisfy requirements needed for the model.