State owned Kiwibank says it'll "facilitate applications" for insurance underwritten by Tower from Christchurch property owners planning to build new homes in areas zoned Technical Category 3 (TC3) following the devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) says TC3 areas are ones where moderate to significant land damage from liquefaction is possible in future large earthquakes. CERA says site-specific geotechnical investigation and specific engineering foundation design is required. Furthermore, site specific geotechnical work will be needed to determine the actual foundations required for each house in TC3 areas.
Tracey Berry, Kiwibank's general manager for Canterbury growth, said restrictions on getting insurance for planned developments have severely hampered property owners in these areas.
"Kiwibank can now facilitate applications for insurance from these areas," Berry said in a statement. "Each application will be treated on a case-by-case basis, but widening access to insurance is a major step forward."
She said higher building standards introduced since the earthquakes have given Kiwibank the confidence to facilitate applications for insurance.
"These standards have significantly improved the seismic strength of new houses, which, as a result, are more resistant to earthquake damage. In its commitment for more sustainable homes, Kiwibank will also make a contribution for those that require funding to install a system that produces renewable energy such as solar panels," said Berry.
She added that Kiwibank was continuing to facilitate insurance for houses of existing customers in the Red Zone and TC3.