The Insurance Council of NZ advises people affected by flood damage with the weather related events in the Upper North Island to contact their insurer as soon as possible. “After keeping yourself safe, taking photographic evidence of the flooding and damage to your property will help with your claims assessment and if you need to move damaged or contaminated goods from your house for health and safety reasons” said Tim Grafton, Insurance Council Chief Executive. Tips for recovery:
- Contact your insurer, or insurance adviser
- Act safely to prevent more damage to your building
- Try to make the buildings safe and weatherproof
- Take pictures of the damage (buildings and contents) for insurance claims
- Keep all damaged items for inspection
- Get essential services repaired e.g. water, electricity, gas, sewerage – keep copies of your bills
- Make a list and take pictures of any perishables you have to dispose of
- Don’t start non-essential repairs without your insurance company’s approval.
- If water has entered electrical plugs and sockets it would be advisable to have your electrical systems checked by a licensed electrician.
The extent of the insured damage will not be known for some weeks. “The priority now is for insurers to get assessors out to communities and get the claims process underway” says Grafton. With more heavy rain expected today and over the weekend, the Insurance Council of NZ advises people in Northland, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty to get as much of their home contents out of harms ways, secure heavy outdoor objects and park vehicles in garages if possible. Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton says “if you have a holiday home in the affected areas and aren’t able to check it yourself, we are advising people to call on their permanent resident neighbours to do that for them if possible”. “Improving community resilience to extreme weather events is now a priority” he said. “New Zealand has to plan and adapt in ways that will reduce the impact of natural disasters because every dollar spent in pre-disaster adaptation measures saves many more after the event”.