The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is issuing advice to those in the flood affected areas following a state of emergency being declared on Tuesday 4 February, 2020, for Southland, Fiordland and Clutha.
With the focus on supporting the evacuation people in these areas, the impact of the flooding is yet to be known for homes and businesses.
ICNZ advises those living near the flood zone who are not being evacuated to take steps to reduce the impact of flood damage and help insurers support their customers promptly should their property be flooded. Check your emergency kit and that you have copies of important documents, move valuable items higher up, get electrical items off the ground and unplug them, park your car in the garage or move it to higher ground.
John Lucas, Insurance Manager ICNZ, says; “Most importantly communities need to look out for each other. Check on your neighbours and friends and as the situation is still evolving keep updated by checking the Civil Defence website to ensure you know what to do to get out if you need to.”
If you do suffer flood damage, ICNZ says there are also some steps to take that can help speed up recovery:
- Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property
- Contact your insurer or broker as soon as possible to start the claims process
- Take photos of any damage and note details of valuable items. 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
- Get essential services repaired and keep copies of invoices
- Make your home safe and sanitary but don’t do non-essential repairs
- Always wear protective gear, including gloves and masks, in case you’re exposed to hazardous material
The insurance industry is on standby to support its customers. ICNZ encourages people affected to contact their insurance company as soon as they can for arrangements to be made to assess the damage or losses and progress claims.