The Insurance Council is advising people affected by the flooding across New Zealand this weekend to contact their insurance providers as soon as possible. “It’s important to contact your insurer as soon as you’re safe if there has been any damage to your property, including your house, contents, vehicle, business or boat,” said Insurance Council Chief Executive, Tim Grafton. When it’s safe to do so, take pictures of any damage caused by the storm. Photos help your insurer with their assessments and can help speed up your claims process. “If property you’ve already photographed receives further damage, take more photos,” said Grafton. “This is especially important if you need to move damaged or contaminated goods from your house for health and safety reasons.” “Improving community resilience to extreme weather events is a priority. New Zealand needs 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 an event,” said Grafton. The recent flooding has caused havoc in pockets of New Zealand. A state of emergency has been declared in Rotorua, where a stream in Ngongotaha burst its bank after the region saw the highest rainfall level for a single day on record. Coromondel and South Canterbury have also experienced significant flooding. It’s too soon to say what the cost of this latest storm will be. ICNZ expects to have provisional figures available in mid-June.

Flood recovery tips

  • Follow the instructions of Civil Defence and emergency services providers.
  • Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property.
  • Contact your insurer, or insurance adviser, as soon as possible.
  • 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.
  • Remove and discard any water or mud-damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings.
  • Take photos of damaged property to help speed up the assessments and claims process.
  • Keep any damaged items that don’t pose a health and safety risk.
  • Do not drive your vehicle if it has suffered water damage.
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