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EQC to hold Palmerston North information drop in session

Friday May 16 2014

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The drop-in session is for customers to ask any questions about their claims or the claim process, but new claims cannot be lodged as the legal deadline for this event has passed (22 April 2014). The session will be held from 10am to 1pm on Level One of Manawatū House, corner of Cuba and Andrew Young streets, Palmerston North.

Palmerston North and Manawatū account for 39% of Eketahuna earthquake claims, so EQC is working with the Palmerston North City Council to let as many customers as possible know about the drop-in session. EQC National Manager of Operations, Barry Searle, says it makes sense to give Palmerston North customers the same opportunity as Pahiatua, where EQC held an information drop-in session before Easter.

"Some people may have questions for us and the drop-in session provides the right staff to answer them. If we don't have answers at hand, we can take note of inquiries and come back to customers. If there's a demand, EQC will consider further sessions," Mr Searle said.

Palmerston North City Council's Customer Services General Manager, Peter Eathorne, says he wants to encourage those residents who have lodged an EQC claim to take advantage of the open day. "We all know that insurance claims can cause stress, so it's important that residents with EQC claims take the opportunity to take advantage of talking to EQC officers. It helps clear up misconceptions and helps smooth out the process," Mr Eathorne said.

EQC has received a total 5013 claims for damage from the 6.2 magnitude Eketahuna Earthquake, which occurred on 20 January 2014, 15km east of Eketahuna. Claims closed at the end of day 22 April, 2014. So far, more than 225 claims have been resolved, and over $1.7 million paid out in claims.

Most claims received were for damage to buildings only (71%), followed by building and contents (12%); contents only (10%); building and land (4%); land only (2%), and building, contents and land (1%).

EQC has completed assessments in the areas nearest the epicenter, where the more serious damage occurred, through Eketahuna, Woodville, Pahiatua and Masterton. Most assessors are now working through the Palmerston North/Manawatū districts.

EQC is closing its temporary base in Palmerston North at the end of the month as the bulk of assessments are completed in the field and claims progress through to the settlement process, which is administered in EQC's Hamilton claim centre.