As storms continue to impact much of the North Island, many businesses are having to deal with flood and other damage.  Others should heed local warnings and take action now to limit loss and damage including, if possible, putting things out of reach of potential flood water to come and moving vehicles to higher ground. 

“Business insurance can cover everything from damage to premises, lost or damaged stock, equipment or goods owned by others, vehicles and cover for not being able to operate, said Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) Chief Executive, Tim Grafton. “As with others affected by this unprecedented climate-related event, business owners should register their claims with their insurer as soon as they can.” 

In the first instance, business owners should only enter their premises if it’s safe to do so and treat anything that has been in flood water as contaminated. Electricity in flooded buildings should not be turned on until it has been inspected by an electrician. Having contacted their insurers, contaminated or damaged property should be photographed and put aside, taking care to deal with any hazardous materials appropriately. 

Again, having spoken to their insurers, business owners should be able to undertake emergency repairs to make their premises safe and secure. 

Any vehicles or electrical equipment that has been flooded should not be used. In many cases this may be written off, but insurer appointed experts will likely inspect flooded items to see if repair is possible.

Some businesses will also have business interruption cover which will cover them for loss of profit, up to policy limits, where property damage restricts their ability to maintain turnover. 

“This event will be very difficult for many businesses,” added Tim. “As with many householders, the sheer scale of this event means that, despite the best efforts of all involved, business owners can expect repairs and the supply of new stock and equipment to take longer than normal. The situation is made worse by the fact that some businesses that would ordinarily be involved in helping others recover aren’t now able to because of the loss and damage they have suffered.” 

Additional help and advice beyond insurance matters is available on MBIE’s business.govt.nz website. https://www.business.govt.nz/risks-and-operations/extreme-weather-information-for-business/

Contact/Tukua ki:  [email protected] 

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