Flood advice: stay safe and contact your insurer early

The Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) urges those affected by floods and storms across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and other areas of Te Ika-a-Māui The North Island to put their safety first, heed the advice of local authorities and contact their insurer early.

“Contact your insurer early if you suffer flood or thunderstorm damage, especially if you need to arrange temporary accommodation or emergency repairs; which should only be done if it is safe to do so,” said ICNZ Chief Executive Tim Grafton. “Stay out of flood water and always treat it as contaminated if it is in, or has been through, your home or vehicle.”

As always when such events occur, insurers will be gearing up their call centres and arranging for staff to help customers. For many, the quickest way to lodge a claim is through their insurer’s website.

“Insurers will do their best to get on top of new claims but they do come on top of more than 100,000 already this year for climate events. Tradies and building materials are already in very high demand and we have to remain realistic about how long things can take to dry out and put right,” said Tim.  

When it comes to dealing with floods and storms, ICNZ offers the following advice:

  • Continue to follow the instructions of Civil Defence and emergency services
  • Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property
  • Contact your insurer as soon as you can
  • Avoid entering flood water, either on foot or in a vehicle. Flood water can contain raw sewage and contaminants, conduct electricity and mask hidden hazards, and poses a serious hazard to health. It may be deeper, or moving faster, than you expect
  • Try to make buildings safe and weatherproof but don’t make any emergency repairs unless it is safe to do so. Don’t start non-essential repairs without your insurance company’s approval
  • If water has entered your property, don’t turn on your electricity until it has been inspected by an electrician
  • Get essential services, such as water, electricity, gas and sewerage, repaired and keep copies of any invoices
  • Do what’s necessary to make your home safe and sanitary. When cleaning, wear a mask, gloves and overalls to minimise exposure to possibly-hazardous materials
  • Take pictures and make a list of any perishables you have to dispose of
  • Photograph, remove and discard any water or mud-damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings
  • Take photos of any other damaged property to help speed up your claims
  • Mark, and take a photo of where flood water reached its highest within your property
  • Keep any damaged items that don’t pose a health and safety risk
  • Do not drive your vehicle if it has suffered water damage

Contact/Tukua ki:  [email protected]

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