ICNZ urges people affected by Gita to contact their insurers
The Insurance Council is advising people affected by Cyclone Gita to contact their insurers directly.
“It’s important to remember to contact your insurer as soon as possible if there is any damage to your property, including your house, contents, vehicle, business or boat. If people have suffered land damage, they can lodge a claim with EQC within 3 months of the event,” said Insurance Council Chief Executive, Tim Grafton.
When it’s safe to do so, take pictures of any weather-related damage – this will help your insurer with their assessment when you make a claim. If property you’ve already photographed receives further damage, take more photos. This is especially important if you need to move damaged or contaminated goods from your house for health and safety reasons.
“Improving community resilience to extreme weather events is a priority. New Zealand needs to plan and adapt in ways that will reduce the impact of natural disasters, because every dollar spent in pre-disaster adaptation measures saves many more after an event,” said Grafton.
Cyclone Gita caused significant distress and damage for many people. Power was cut to more than 14,000 properties in Taranaki and Manawatu, water pipes were damaged in New Plymouth, and Kaikōura saw 28% of its average annual rain fall in 18 hours.
Roads were closed in several districts, including Wellington, Nelson-Tasman, the West Coast, Taranaki, Manawatu and Canterbury. States of emergency were declared in Buller, Selwyn District, Grey District, Westland, Taranaki, Nelson-Tasman and Christchurch.
Flood recovery tips
- Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property.
- Contact your insurer, or insurance adviser, as soon as possible.
- Avoid entering flood water, either on foot or in a vehicle. Flood water can contain raw sewage and contaminants, conduct electricity and mask hidden hazards, and poses a serious hazard to health. It may be deeper, or moving faster, than you expect.
- Try to make buildings safe and weatherproof but don’t make any emergency repairs unless it is safe to do so. Don't start non-essential repairs without your insurance company’s approval.
- If water has entered your property, don't turn on your electricity until it has been inspected by an electrician.
- Get essential services, such as water, electricity, gas and sewerage, repaired and keep copies of any invoices.
- Do what’s necessary to make your home safe and sanitary. When cleaning, wear a mask, gloves and overalls to minimise exposure to possibly-hazardous materials.
- Take pictures and make a list of any perishables you have to dispose of.
- Remove and discard any water or mud-damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings.
- Take photos of damaged property to help speed up the assessments and claims process.
- Keep any damaged items that don’t pose a health and safety risk.
- Do not drive your vehicle if it has suffered water damage.