Limitation Period for Claims Against EQC -Resources Update
The below content was provided by Peter Woods from Anthony Harper.
For those of you new to all of this, Limitation is a legal term that refers to a "count of time". Many people impacted by the Canterbury Quakes are facing real concerns with this issue due to delays they believe were caused by EQC's inability to correctly assess their homes in accordance with the EQC Act.
Limitation Period for Claims Against EQC
If you are considering challenging an EQC settlement for a claim you must be aware of where your challenge stands in terms of limitation periods. Under the Limitation Acts of 1950 and 2010, in most circumstances, a claimant has 6 years to bring a claim against another from the time the cause of the claim arose before a limitation defence can be raised whereby the claim is out of time to be brought. Therefore, in terms of the Canterbury Earthquakes, a claimant, in most circumstances, may only have six years from the time of the earthquake that caused damage to their property to make a claim before a limitation defence is available.
There has been considerable publicity about limitation periods. Many insurance companies have stated that they will not rely on the standard six years to bring a limitation defence but rather have provided cut-off dates beyond the six years to allow customers to bring claims without fear of a limitation defence within the extended time-frame.
EQC has provided a specific interpretation of from when it considers the six year limitation will run. The period will not run from the time of the earthquake that caused the damage but rather from the following:
- Where an EQC claim has been settled, from the date EQC settled that claim.
- Where an EQC claim has not yet been settled, from the date when EQC settles or declines that claim; or
- Where a claim is declined, from the date EQC declines the claim.
Therefore, as matters presently stand, the EQC limitation period is specific to each individual claim. As such, we recommend that anyone who is considering bringing a claim against EQC write to EQC to request the date which EQC considered the claim settled or declined.
We have provided a template letter on the eqcfix.nz website (Resources Page) to assist with this inquiry.