As flood-ravaged cities in New Zealand brace for more extreme weather in the coming days, AA Insurance has assured its customers that its teams are on standby to assist with additional claims.
Forecasts have said that Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle — classified as a category 3 storm — is expected to hit the North Island by Sunday and bring heavy rains through Tuesday. WeatherWatch.co.nz has said that Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle will likely be “the most serious storm to impact New Zealand this century.”
The warnings come two weeks after Auckland was hammered by historic levels of rain that killed four people and triggered widespread flooding in the North Island. Auckland and Coromandel's local states of emergency have been extended for another week.
“Customers can simply contact us if they need help or advice assessing any new damage and we can work with them to lodge a new claim if they need to,” said Aaron Dickinson, AA Insurance’s general manager of claims.
The insurer also called on customers to check their properties for loose items and debris and to remove these if it is safe to do so. It said that the most common claims during severe weather events are related to flooding and wind damage.
“AA Insurance is also encouraging people to take all the usual precautions ahead of a severe weather warning – including checking the stability of the land around their properties which may have higher risk of slips following the recent downpours,” Dickinson said.
The insurer also advised customers to check the latest updates from the MetService, Civil Defence, and local authorities and to ensure the safety of their family and pets.
AA Insurance also offered tips for a faster insurance claim process. It said that if it’s safe and practical to do so, customers should keep damaged items to be assessed and take photos of items that need to be thrown out. It emphasized that photos will help speed up the process, especially in confirming what needs to be replaced.
The insurer also advised customers to take photos of damaged items that need to be replaced urgently and to keep receipts for any purchases.
AA Insurance had earlier revealed that it has so far received more than 5,300 claims linked to the January flooding. Around 2,300 of these are home claims, 1,500 for contents, and 1,500 for vehicles.