Timaru residents whose cars were damaged by last month’s hailstorm have one less thing to worry about as the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) confirmed that most hail-damaged vehicles will be issued a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) while awaiting repair.
The agency clarified that the majority of the hail damage to vehicles was not considered structural damage – and the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) said the decision would help ease unnecessary pressure for those dealing with damaged vehicles.
“It was concerning to hear that WOF weren’t being issued as it was not the understanding of insurers and repairers that hail damage would be counted as structural damage. Unfortunately, this also delayed many claims settlements, with insurers having to wait for NZTA clarification,” Tim Grafton, chief executive of ICNZ, said. “It is great that this has been cleared up for those with affected vehicles, especially those that may wait a longer timeframe for repairs.”
Meanwhile, IAG New Zealand has announced that vehicle repairs will take longer than usual due to the influx of claims.
“We’ve received a significant number of claims, the majority of which are for damaged vehicles. We’re putting customer safety first, so repairs to vehicles that are unsafe to drive and significant damage to property will be prioritised. This means there will be delays for less urgent repairs,” IAG said on its website.
“We’ve brought in additional assessors and repairers to help speed up the claim process. A dedicated team has been created to respond to these claims. Repair Centres have been established in Ashburton, Timaru, and Christchurch and the team is contacting customers to book assessment times. We [also] have specialist vehicle repairers on the ground from New Zealand and overseas. If you haven’t heard from us already, we’ll be in touch before Christmas.”