Climate change and the Earthquake Commission (EQC)

helicopter view of two rows of houses surrounded by flood waters

Project Duration: May 2017 ‐ March 2019

Project Budget: $ 154,000 (GST exc)

Investigating past trends, future liabilities and an analysis of the impact of insurance in support of economic recovery after extreme weather events: Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events in NZ. These disasters can negatively affect the functioning of communities and regions as well as the long term sustainability of NZ’s public risk transfer mechanisms, including the EQC. Although the EQC’s main function is to support households affected by earthquakes, in some circumstances people affected by extreme weather events can also make claims to the EQC.

Since 1986, more than 17,000 claims have been paid by the EQC to households affected by non-earthquake disasters. In this project we study this claims dataset to answer three main research questions: (1) How has the EQC covered households over time and across regions after extreme weather events in NZ? (2) Is there evidence on how these payments have supported the economic recovery of affected households or communities? (3) Given climate change projections, what are the potential (weather-related) financial liabilities that the EQC might face in the future? By analysing EQC claims along with other data from Statistics NZ, GNS, and NIWA, we seek to answer these questions and provide a better understanding of the challenges that climate change can pose to local economies and for the Crown.


Principal Investigators:

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