ICNZ urges people to contact insurers after late-April flooding

ICNZ urges people to contact insurers after late-April flooding | Insurance Business

ICNZ urges people to contact insurers after late-April flooding

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is urging people affected by the recent flooding across the country to contact their insurers as soon as possible.

“It’s important to contact your insurer as soon as you’re safe if there has been any damage to your property, including your house, contents, vehicle, business or boat,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said.

Over the weekend, the flooding has caused havoc in pockets of New Zealand. A state of emergency was declared in Rotorua, where a stream in Ngongotaha burst its bank after the region saw the highest rainfall level for a single day on record.

Coromondel and South Canterbury have also experienced significant flooding.

The council calls on people to take measures, such as taking photos of damaged properties, to help insurers with assessment and help speed up the claims process.

“If property you’ve already photographed receives further damage, take more photos,” Grafton noted. “This is especially important if you need to move damaged or contaminated goods from your house for health and safety reasons.”

Other flood recovery tips, outlined by ICNZ, that brokers can pass to clients include:
* Follow the instructions of Civil Defence and emergency services providers;
* 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;
* Keep any damaged items that don’t pose a health and safety risk;
* Do not drive your vehicle if it has suffered water damage.

“Improving community resilience to extreme weather events is a priority,” Grafton said. “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.”

Provisional figures are expected to be available in mid-June, the council added.


Related stories: