EQC settlement limitations
We are nearly seven years on from the first Canterbury earthquake in 2010. Earthquake Commission claims have been numerous and in most part settled. Any challenges to the settlement would normally need to be raised within six (6) years of settlement as covered by the statutory limitation periods.
EQC however, apply the six year period differently depending on how the claim was settled, for instance:
- Where payment is made in settlement – time runs from the date of payment;
- If the claim is settled through a repair – time runs from the date of practical completion;
- If the claim is declined – time runs from the date the decision to decline is communicated.
You may ask, what does this matter? For property lawyers conveying property, it may become a point of detail in the paperwork completed for settlements. Claims are assigned from vendor to purchaser and, where settled, a residual benefit in the Claim is transferred for latent damage (damage discovered that can only be attributable to earthquakes), land remediation or repairs that need to be revisited. It may be time to start looking at those early claims to see if there is any real life left in them depending on when and how they were settled, reducing the need to assign those claims outside the limitation expiry period.