Flood advice to East Coast residents

22 September 2015

As the clean-up begins after yesterday’s flooding in the East Coast, Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, advises residents to first contact their insurance company and take photos of the damage.

Wild weather hit the east of the North Island yesterday, with rising river levels and flooding causing damage in Gisborne and Wairoa.

“We understand it’s a very stressful time for those affected, but by contacting your insurance company as soon as you can, you could avoid problems later on,” says Karen.

The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme has dealt with a number of flood related insurance complaints over the past 20 years. “We’ve seen many cases where people have cleaned up after a flood, thrown all the damaged items away, then had difficulty proving that the items were damaged.”

Before cleaning up the damage from flooding, steps to take include:
1) Call your insurer. Ask what documentation is needed for your claim before you start and before you throw anything away. Ask your insurer to confirm this information in an email, if possible.
2) Make lists of all the damaged items and take photos; only dispose of damaged items, if absolutely necessary.
3) Document the damage. Take photos or videos of your house and any damaged belongings.
4) Read your policy to ensure you know what you are and are not covered for.

See our info sheet