A large technology upgrade at the Earthquake Commission is easing the pain of making claims, with homeowners affected by last month's Kāpiti Coast earthquakes the first to benefit.
As of noon last Tuesday, 18 homeowners had lodged a claim for damage after Saturday’s magnitude 5.4 earthquake.
About half of the claims so far have come via an online lodgement form, a key enhancement to the EQC claims management system.
EQC was using Guidewire’s ClaimCenter version 4 as the core system for managing and processing claims for the massive 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.
The organisation's performance after that quake was heavily criticised.
However, the out of support version 4 was decommissioned in 2017, when Guidewire ClaimCenter version 8 was implemented.
ClaimCenter 8, and its integrated component applications, allow EQC to adopt a claims management approach to handling claims, allowing greater customer centricity and efficiency to the resolution process, EQC told Reseller News last week.
"A programme of enhancements to ClaimCenter 8 - and its integrated component applications - is underway to ensure the systems align to both EQC’s future operating model, and supports optimisation of claims processing for claims on hand," EQC said.
"This includes automation of key lodgement tasks, simplified engagement with third party experts, and updated security features.
Guidewire partner 4impact Group, which opened an office in Wellington in 2016, managed the overall delivery of services for the claims management system.
According to a review document, the decommissioning of ClaimCenter 4 cost $1.8 million and was to be completed in the middle of last year.
"EQC was operating two claims management systems (CMS) for the majority of the 2017/18 financial year as information and claims were transitioned from the old system to the new," the review to the end of 30 June 2018 said.
"The old CMS system has now been fully decommissioned."
The latest enhancements, rolled out last month, provide the EQC event response teams with real-time information and reports.
EQC deputy chief executive, readiness and recovery Renée Walker said that her team has been working hard over the last year to improve the organisation’s systems to speed up the claims processes and improve the experience for its customers.
“We are focused on being better prepared for the next big event, based on all the lessons we have learned since the Canterbury earthquakes," she said.
"By automating parts of the claims process, our settlement teams will be freed up from administrative tasks to focus on the customer and support them through the claims process."