Residential Building Repair Cost and Claim Settlement Time from the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence
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This study analyses the Earthquake Commission’s (EQC) insurance claims database to investigate the influence of seismic intensity and property damage resulting from the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence (CES) on the repair costs and claim settlement duration for residential buildings. Firstly, the ratio of building repair cost to its replacement cost was expressed as a Building Loss Ratio (BLR), which was further extended to Regional Loss Ratio (RLR) for greater Christchurch by multiplying the average of all building loss ratios with the proportion of building stock that lodged an insurance claim. Secondly, the total time required to settle the claim and the time taken to complete each phase of the claim settlement process were obtained. Based on the database, the regional loss ratio for greater Christchurch for three events producing shakings of intensities 6, 7, and 8 on the modified Mercalli intensity scale were 0.013, 0.066, and 0.171, respectively. Furthermore, small (less than NZD15,000), medium (between NZD15,000 and NZD100,000), and large (more than NZD100,000) claims took 0.35-0.55, 1.95-2.45, and 3.35-3.85 years to settle regardless of the building’s construction period and earthquake intensities. The number of claims was also disaggregated by various building characteristics to evaluate their relative contribution to the damage and repair costs.