EQC drainage claims – Lodge your claims before 31 December 2016

Peter woods from Anthony Harper - an issue that could have quite favourable outcomes.

definition: A lateral is the private wastewater pipe that leads from your home to the public main.  You own the lateral and it is covered by your EQC cover.

A TEMPLATED LETTER HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR YOUR USE. CLICK HERE or go to the resources page

Image used only as a way to show the concept of lateral drains

Image used only as a way to show the concept of lateral drains

EQC did not routinely inspect and repair laterals immediately after the earthquakes.  EQC has stated that its priority was house repairs, to provide people with homes to live in.  EQC has also stated that its experts advised that lateral failure could occur five to seven years after the earthquakes.  Therefore, inspections close to the time of the earthquakes may not have picked up symptoms of earthquake damage.

With these timeframes in mind EQC has stated that it will inspect all lodged, but unsettled, drainage claims at no cost to the homeowner.  The inspections will determine if there is any earthquake damage, recommend repairs and the cost of these repairs.  EQC will then determine a cash settlement for any necessary repairs based on this information from the inspection.  

All drainage claims lodged before 31 December 2016 will fall under what EQC calls the "grace period".  The "grace period" is when EQC grants the "benefit of the doubt" as to whether lateral damage, found to be consistent with earthquake damage, is actually earthquake damage and no further proof will be required.  In other words, on inspection, if the damage looks like earthquake damage, then EQC will assume it is earthquake damage and settle the claim on that basis.  

If a drainage claim is lodged after 31 December 2016, the inspection will still be funded by EQC, but the claim will fall outside the "grace period".   EQC will then require proof that the damage is actually earthquake damage, before it settles the claim.

As EQC has already stated, earthquake damage to laterals is often not obvious without internal inspection of the drains.  We encourage any homeowners who have concerns that their home drainage system may have been damaged by the earthquakes to lodge a drainage claim with EQC before 31 December 2016 to take advantage of the "grace period".  

The "grace period" remains, even if the laterals are inspected after 31 December 2016, as long as the drainage claim itself is lodged before that date.

A TEMPLATED LETTER HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR YOUR USE. CLICK HERE OR GO TO THE RESOURCES PAGE

Peter Woods
Partner - Litigation
Anthony Harper
DDI: +64 3 364 3816
Email: peter.woods@ah.co.nz

 

Melanie TobeckComment