Severe Weather Events and your Insurance

New Zealand has seen two severe flooding events in the past few months. The effects of climate change and rising sea levels mean the frequency of these events is likely to increase.

With two-thirds of Kiwis estimated to currently live on a flood plain we have some tips for an insurance claim should floodwater make an unwelcome entrance into your home in the case of another severe weather event.

Returning home

The recent severe weather has left many households with a lengthy cleanup. As floodwaters can be sewage polluted, it pays to wear protective gear, such as gloves and masks, in case you’re exposed to hazardous material.

Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property. If you can, clean and dry your house and everything in it, this is because when things get wet for more than two days, they usually get mouldy.

Prioritise the repair of essential amenities to make your home safe, sanitary and weather-tight, but if possible don’t do any non-essential repairs. Get gas and electrics checked before using any appliances. Regardless, keep copies of invoices.

If your car has been submerged in water don’t turn it on or attempt to drive it. Similarly, don’t use any appliances or machinery that may have been water damaged.

Preparing your claim

If your property is damaged, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance provider as soon as possible.

Take photos of all damage, and don’t dispose of anything until you’ve spoken to your insurer as it will help speed up the assessment of your claim. You can remove water-damaged property from your home as the sooner it is out the drier your premises will be.

Any food or drinking water that has come into contact with floodwater, including canned goods, should be thrown away, but be sure to take photos of them and any other perishable or unsanitary items before you dispose of them.

In most cases, an assessor will need to look at your property and confirm what repairs and replacements are needed.

How can we help?

Insurance around severe weather events can seem complex and at Wayne Grayson & Associates, we believe an informed insurance decision is the right one. Whether you’re after a business or personal insurance, our expert brokers will ensure your insurance is the right fit for you.

Contact one of our Auckland-based insurance brokers for advice on the best solution to suit you or your organisation.

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