Tim Grafton, ICNZ Chief Executive says that the industry has mobilised New Zealand wide to help Timaru. Drive through assessment stations have been set up for ‘on-the-ground’ support and specialists brought in from overseas to help with repairs.

Mr Grafton warns that damage of this scale could take many months to repair which will be frustrating for owners.

“It is clearly a significant event. While we won’t have full details about the extent of claims until early January, we know that there are a thousands of vehicles that will need to have repairs managed by insurers as well as damage to conservatories, sky lights, roofing and guttering.”

Mr Grafton says the response from the industry has been fast and customer focus.

Efforts are initially focused on helping those with vehicles that aren’t driveable – for example have severely damaged windscreens – to ensure they are mobile as soon as possible given the time of the year. While vehicles with dents can be unsightly, if they are still driveable these people will unfortunately face a wait for repair.

“However, it’s important that as long as the damage isn’t structural, we see no reason why these cars won’t be able to get a WOF, helping to keep these people on the road while they wait for repairs.”

To help assist customers as quickly as possible the industry urge owners to contact their insurers so arrangements can be made to assess the damage or losses, and progress claims and schedule repairs where needed for customers.

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