As the rain continues to hit the wider Canterbury region the Insurance Council of New Zealand is encouraging Canterbury residents to contact their insurer to support them with their recovery.

“Floods can leave vast damage in their wake and your insurer is there to support you and help you get back on your feet,” says Tim Grafton, Chief Executive ICNZ.

“But the support isn’t limited just to the inevitable clean-up. Most home and contents policies include a temporary accommodation benefit that will help those whose homes are uninhabitable due to damage from this event. If you’re in this situation, ask your insurer what support you may be eligible for.”

Mr Grafton also stresses the importance of prioritising safety, keeping up to date with the latest updates from Metservice, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the local Civil Defence Emergency Management teams activated in the region.

“Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or may cause more damage to your property. This means that if your car has been submerged in water don’t turn it on or attempt to drive it. Similarly, if water enters your house be sure to turn off the electricity to avoid short-circuits sparking fires and don’t use any appliances that may have been water damaged.”

For those that have suffered flood damage, ICNZ says there are some steps to take that can help speed up recovery:

  • Take photos of any damage and note details of valuable items, and don’t dispose of anything until you’ve spoken to your insurer. It will help speed up assessments of your claims.
  • Don’t enter flood water, and don’t operate cars or electrical appliances that may have been flooded.
  • Make your home safe and sanitary but don’t do non-essential repairs.
  • Get essential services repaired and keep copies of invoices.
  • Always wear protective gear, including gloves and masks, in case you’re exposed to hazardous material.
  • Farmers and growers in impacted areas are reminded to always put their own safety first and to make sure their livestock have access to clean drinking water and feed.
  • With June 1 Moving Day tomorrow, farmers, contract and sharemilkers milkers impacted by the floods are also encouraged to stay in close communication with their insurers about available support. 

With Metservice issuing warnings for the South Island for the remainder of the day (31 May), ICNZ says there are some steps people can take help keep them and their property safe before the weather hits them, including:

  • move your car out of flood danger, and avoid driving if you can, especially through flood waters (keep an eye on NZTA updates for local roads)
  • secure large items such as umbrellas and outdoor furniture, turn trampolines upside down, and pack away smaller items that may become airborne
  • move valuables and electrical items to higher ground
  • check gutters and drains are clear of debris
  • stock your emergency kit, be prepared for power outages
  • check on neighbours and friends.
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