A lot of flood damage on hundreds of Southland farms may not be covered by insurance, according to Federated Farmers.
Federated Farmers identified more than 1,100 farms in the south’s “priority flood areas” – with many of them having suffered damage.
Bernadette Hunt, vice president of Southland Federated Farmers, confirmed that the recent flood ruined farms’ fences, crops, and laneways – which are most likely not covered by insurance and would, therefore, have a significant financial impact on the farmers.
“There’s a long recovery ahead for a lot of people,” Hunt told Stuff.co.nz.
Leah McNeil, spokeswoman for the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ), said assessors visited Southland last week, and insurance claims had been lodged. However, it is still too early to determine how many claims would be filed and what they may cost.
The insurer advised Kiwis affected by the flood to take steps to reduce the impact of damage – including checking their emergency kit, putting more valuable items in higher places, unplugging electrical items and getting them off the ground, parking their car in the garage or moving it to higher ground, and keeping copies of essential documents.
“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,” John Lucas, insurance manager at ICNZ, said.