This Month in Seismic - Tax Breaks, AI and Insurance

A monthly summary of the latest in New Zealand's seismic resilience, retrofits and earthquake strengthening news so you can make the best quake protect decisions.

Tax breaks for quake strengthening raised

Tax deductions for people who strengthen their buildings against earthquakes has been raised as a possibility in a government working group tax report.

Building owners have complained they can't afford seismic strengthening which can cost millions of dollars.

The interim report from the government's Tax Working Group (GTWG) pointed out deductions may be claimed if a building collapses in an earthquake, but no deductions can be claimed on expenditure that will stop a building from collapsing.

The report said the group is still considering its position on the issue.

Read full article here

Insurance based on individual risk is 'nothing new' for commercial buildings, the Insurance Council says.

Home owners in higher-risk areas are experiencing huge hikes to their insurance premiums due to earthquake, raising questions about the way commercial risk will be calculated in the future. 

The Insurance Council's initial response was that premiuns based on individual risk is nothing new for commercial buildings. 

However, when asked if insurers would refuse to insure certain commercial properties, Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said if a property was below 34 per cent of the New Building Standard "I wouldn't be surprised if you would get refused by a number of insurers".

Grafton said his message to property owners was to be aware of the multiple risks their buildings faced and their obligations.

Two critical issues for commercial property owners were systemic problems with deficient passive fire construction and many buildings not complying with non-structural seismic restraints.
Both put life and property at risk.

"My message to the property owners is to say well it is your building and actually you have an obligation that goes well beyond your own property."

Read full article here

Artificial intelligence can now predict where aftershocks will strike following large earthquakes.

Researchers at Harvard University with Google developed an artificial intelligence system (AI) capable of forecasting aftershocks from earthquakes. 

Stanford physicist Gregory Beroza said while the method was promising, it's still early days.

Read full article

Quake Protected – Specialist Non-Structural Seismic Restraint Installers

Quake Protected installs non-structural seismic restraints in work environments so that potential falling hazards,  like suspended ceilings, lighting racks, partition walls, computers and specialist equipment, stay in place during an earthquake.

These cost-saving solutions save people from harm, protect vital equipment and minimise the time it takes for you to get back to business.

Contact the Quake Protected team today by email or call 0800 537 369.

​Know the latest on seismic

Every month we create a digest of New Zealand's seismic news so you can keep up-to-date on all things seismic and make knowledgeable, cost-effective decisions on managing your earthquake risks. 

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