As the recovery effort in the wake of the unprecedented November Timaru hailstorm continues, the insurance industry is advising people considering buying hail damaged vehicles to be well informed.

With thousands of vehicles damaged in the storm, the industry is making good progress assessing those vehicles and either repairing them or deeming them uneconomic to repair.

Tim Grafton, Chief Executive Insurance Council of New Zealand, says that with a large number of hail damaged vehicles being sold through a variety of channels over the coming months, potential buyers must be well informed.

“It is important that anyone looking to purchase one of these vehicles knows what they are buying. While damage may not be structural, all will have significant hail damage. We advise people to complete their due diligence and understand exactly what they are buying, especially if they are unable to inspect the vehicle prior to purchasing it.

ICNZ urges buyers to ensure that if they intend using those vehicles on the road, rather than for parts or for some other reason, that they purchase insurance.

“We encourage people to discuss this with their insurer before purchasing to ascertain what type of cover may be available to them, what the premium might be and if any special terms or conditions may apply to prevent any nasty surprises should the need to claim in the future.

“Insurance policies don’t provide cover for existing damage, so they will need to disclose the hail damage to their insurer.

“Similarly, if they repair any damage, they will need to inform their insurer so the car can be appropriately insured,” says Mr Grafton.

ICNZ encourages people affected to contact their insurance company or authorised insurance broker as soon as they can for arrangements to be made to assess the damage or losses and progress claims.

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