The Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) urges those affected by flood and storm damage from Northland into the South Island to put their safety first, heed the advice of local civil defence and contact their insurer early.
“There are some simple things you can do that will help reduce loss and damage and so speed recovery,” says ICNZ Chief Executive Tim Grafton. These include:
- First and foremost, act on the instructions of local authorities to keep yourselves safe
- Move valuables and electrical items out of reach of potential flood water
- Move your car out of flood danger, and avoid driving if you can in line with local advice
- Check gutters and drains are clear of debris
- In case of high winds, secure large items such as barbeques, umbrellas and outdoor furniture, turn trampolines upside down, and pack away smaller items
- In high wind areas, farmers should secure irrigators and machinery as well as light structures and move property and stock to higher ground in line with local warnings
- Check your emergency kit, check in with you neighbours and be prepared for power outages
“Contact your insurer early if you suffer flood or storm damage, especially if you need to make emergency repairs, which should only be undertaken if they can be done safely, added Tim. “It’s also important to take photos of any damage or items that have been ruined.”
Insurers also thank their customers for their patience with the claims process in these unprecedented times. There has been a lot of severe weather damage recently, the building sector is stretched and materials are hard to come by. All these factors have been increasing the amount of time it takes to put things right.
“Insurers want to get things fixed as soon as possible and always try to prioritise those most badly affected, such as those whose homes are red or yellow stickered. Getting you claim lodged early is the best way to speed things along,” said Tim.