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2011-12-21 Update 04

Please be advised that the Christchurch office reopened on Thursday 29 December and will be open during normal business hours for the remainder of the holiday break.


Welcome to the final earthquake update for the year. MAS would like to advise you that our call centre and local Christchurch office will be open during the holiday break – please call 0800 800 627 should you need any assistance.  


As 2011 comes to a close, we look back on a year marked by natural disasters in New Zealand and abroad. There were moments for solemn reflection when our neighbours in Queensland faced catastrophic floods at the start of the year. Disaster struck Christchurch in February – and we continue to mourn the tragic loss of 181 lives. As the aftershocks continued at home, the world’s fifth largest quake since 1900 set a tsunami on a path of destruction in north-east Japan.


MAS has strived to stand with and support our Members through the devastating events in Canterbury, the Hawkes Bay floods and in recent days, the state of emergency in Nelson. The Christchurch earthquake events were as unprecedented from a claims perspective as they were for our affected Members, and our call centre team worked with diligence and compassion to manage the volume of calls and put processes in place to progress claims.


While the toll of loss and disruption is immeasurable, these events have major financial impacts for New Zealand, and as a result the insurance industry continues to be among the most affected areas of business. According to the Reserve Bank, the total estimated cost of property-related insurance claims from the Canterbury earthquakes is currently around $30 billion. The below pie chart from the November 2011 Financial Stability Report shows how insurance cost breaks down:































According to this breakdown, the EQC Fund now totals $7.5 billion, within an additional $5.1b from EQC reinsurance, while $14.7b (or nearly half of the total cost of property-related insurance claims) comes from private insurers’ reinsurance.


Shrinking Red Zone


Demonstrating the progress that has been made around land safety in the CBD red zone, Christchurch's earthquake authorities have released maps showing how the inner-city red zone cordon has shrunk since the February earthquake.


Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive Roger Sutton said on 14 December that he hoped the red zone would be opened to the public by April 2012.


Members may be interested to view how the cordon has changed. Cera has published maps showing the shrinking red zone which you can view here


Claims update

MAS has settled $60m in claims across all events, of which $35m has been for domestic houses. 437 of 473 domestic Beca managed properties have been categorised, of which there are:

-          57 properties under-cap

-          269 reinstatement properties

-          111 total rebuild properties

-          36 claims cash settled

MAS have made every effort to pay contents claims as quickly as possible. We are currently managing 21 contents claims – out of an initial notification of several hundred.

Please continue to keep us informed of any changes to your domestic claims, and if you have not yet lodged a contents claim, please do so as soon as possible by phoning us on 0800 800 627 or email us at

Our next update will be released on 18 January 2012 – all the staff at MAS wish you a happy holiday season.  



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