Napier residents: contact your insurer before you clean up

11 November 2020

Following devastating flooding and landslips in Napier, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, says take care at home and on the roads, photograph the damage, and contact your insurer before you clean up.

“Take preventative measures at home for your own safety, and take extra care on the roads,” says Karen. “Take note of all warnings and updates from Civil Defence and NZTA."

“If your home, car or property is damaged, contact your insurer as soon as you can, ask what you need to do to make a claim, and take photos or videos of the damage before you clean up,” says Karen. “It’s a stressful time, but you do need to contact your insurer and you need proof of loss or damage to make a claim.”

The IFSO Scheme has dealt with many weather related insurance complaints over the past 25 years. “We’ve seen a number of cases where people have cleaned up after a flood, thrown items away, and then had difficulty proving that the items were damaged. When you don’t have proof, claims can be declined.”

Before your clean up:

1. Contact your insurer - ask what you need for your claim and ask your insurer to confirm this in writing.
2. Document the damage - take photos or videos of your house and any damaged belongings. Make lists of all the damaged items before you dispose of anything.
3. Understand your policy - ensure you know what you are and are not covered for. If you don't understand, ask questions.

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 policy.

See our info sheet