We haven’t faced a crisis like this; maybe you are like us, uncertain about what will happen next or what is the best thing to do.
The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has stated Auckland and other areas of the North Island that have been affected by flooding to ensure communities stay safe and are protected.
Aside from putting personal safety first and heeding the advice of local authorities, the ICNZ urges Kiwis to contact insurers early.
This event will result in high claims, and insurance companies will be gearing up call centres and arranging staff to manage the demand. Only when a claim has been lodged can insurers start to deal with it. So lodge claims early.
During events of this scale, claims are usually prioritised to help those most adversely affected, especially those requiring emergency accommodation or otherwise vulnerable.
When dealing with floods and storms, the ICNZ also offers the following advice:
- Continue to 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 as soon as you can
- Avoid entering flood water, either on foot or in a vehicle. Flood water can contain raw sewage and contaminants, conduct electricity, mask hidden hazards, and pose a serious health hazard. It may be deeper or moving faster than you expect
- Try to make buildings safe and weatherproof, but only make emergency repairs if 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 an electrician has inspected it
- 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
- Photograph, remove and discard any water or mud-damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings
- Take photos of any other damaged property to help speed up the assessments and claims process
- Mark, and take a photo of where flood water reached its highest within your property
- Keep any damaged items that don’t pose a health and safety risk
- Do not drive your vehicle if it has suffered water damage