11 February 2019
As the Nelson bush fire continues to affect residents throughout the region, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Karen Stevens urges residents to contact their insurers so they can make a claim.
“Understandably, it’s a very stressful time for those having to evacuate their homes,” says Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Karen Stevens. “Contacting your insurer now could save more stress later. It is important to understand what you need to do if you do need to make a claim.”
“With smoke-damaged items, it’s very important you contact your insurer to ask about the claim process before you throw anything away.”
The IFSO Scheme has dealt with many fire-related insurance complaints over the years and has the following tips for residents:
1. Contact your insurer. Ask what you need to do to make a claim and ask your insurer to confirm this in writing.
2. Check your policy. Ensure you understand what your house sum insured is and what you are covered for.
3. Document any damage. Take photos or videos of your house and any damaged belongings. Make lists of all the damaged items and check with your insurer before you dispose of anything damaged by fire or smoke.
4. Ask about temporary accommodation cover. 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 policies.
The IFSO Scheme has been resolving complaints about insurance and financial services for 24 years. Our service is free and independent.