Severe weather in the North Island triggered flooding and landslips in Napier on Monday, November 09, prompting insurers to come to the aid of their customers.
In response to the severe weather, the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) have urged anyone affected to contact their insurer.
“Your insurer is there to support you and help you get back on your feet after an event such as this – so make sure you contact either your insurer or broker as soon as you can, so arrangements can be made to assess the damage or losses and progress any claims," said Tim Grafton, chief executive of ICNZ.
Due to the relatively contained nature of the damage in Napier, insurers will notify EQC to support any claims related solely to land damage such as slips or resulting silt or debris from either landslips or floodwaters.
Weather forecasts from Metservice said that adverse weather is expected to continue across the Central and North-eastern areas of New Zealand until November 11.
ICNZ offered the following tips for residents in the affected areas:
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 if gutters and drains are clear of debris;
Stock your emergency kit; be prepared for power outages; and
Check on neighbours and friends.
In case of flood damage, ICNZ listed some steps that may help speed up recovery:
Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property;
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;
Get essential services repaired and keep copies of invoices;
Make your home safe and sanitary but don’t do non-essential repairs; and
Always wear protective gear, including gloves and masks, in case you’re exposed to hazardous material.