As Northlanders start the tidy-up following the floods and severe weather experienced on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 July, ICNZ and EQC are urging people to contact their insurer as their first port of call to ensure the claims process is as easy and efficient as possible.

ICNZ Chief Executive, Tim Grafton, says the recovery from a flood can be extensive, with insurers and Crown entity the Earthquake Commission (EQC) having a role in assisting the recovery of the communities affected.

For the first time, customers’ private insurers will be able to manage some claims for land damage on behalf of EQC. Those customers who have suffered damage to their residential home, and have silt or debris covering their land, will be able to lodge and have their claim managed by their insurer.

“We advise all homeowners if they have damage to their home and land to contact their insurer first, who will let you know what you need to do next, how to claim and whether any of the damage is covered by EQC,” says Mr Grafton.

“This means that if your home and property have been damaged your insurer will manage the clean-up for you. All you will need to do is sign an additional form to give your insurer the authority to arrange for the removal of the silt and debris on behalf of EQC.

“If there is no damage to your property, but only damage to your land, your insurers will advise EQC who will then settle the claim directly with you,” says Mr Grafton.

EQC, the Insurance Council New Zealand (ICNZ) and other insurance partners are working collaboratively to manage the assessment of flood damage. EQC covers storm and flood damage to residential land within 8 meters of a residence, with home and contents damage covered by private insurance according to the terms of an individual’s policy.

EQC’s Chief Readiness officer Josh Lindsay said EQC and insurers were working closely together to improve customers’ experience. “We expect that for many customers, by calling their insurer, they’ll be able to have their claims resolved through one point of contact. This means they can get their land cleared quickly and get on with any building repairs, enabling them to get back on their on their feet as soon as possible.”

Mr Lindsay reminded people that the safety and welfare of family, friends and neighbours always comes first after these storm and flood events. “Contact your insurer so they can help you with any repairs you need, and you can focus on looking after yourselves, your families, and your friends.”

ICNZ says that if you are not sure who to talk to, contact your insurer and they will be able to help you.

“Our members have responded quickly to help their customers with assessors on the ground on Sunday reviewing damage to progress the claims already received. If you haven’t been in touch about your claim, we urge you to contact your insurer or broker as soon as you can so they can support you,” says Mr Grafton.

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