The Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO) is urging Kiwis affected by the Nelson bush fires to contact their insurers and lodge a claim.
“Understandably, it’s a very stressful time for those having to evacuate their homes,” IFSO Karen Stevens said. “Contacting your insurer now could save more stress later.
“It is important to understand what you need to do if you do need to make a claim,” she added.
The IFSO has dealt with fire-related insurance complaints over the years. It outlined some insurance tips that brokers can pass on to clients. These include:
- Contact your insurer – ask what you need to do to make a claim and ask your insurer to confirm this in writing;
- Check your policy – ensure you understand what your house sum insured is and what you are covered for;
- Document any damage – take photos or videos of your house and any damaged belongings. Make lists of all the damaged items and check with your insurer before you dispose of anything damaged by fire or smoke;
- Ask about temporary accommodation cover – if you are unable to get back into your home, contact your insurer to ask about temporary accommodation cover, under either your house or contents policies.