"Those in the affected areas will be turning their attention to clearing the damage and getting things back to normal," said Tim Grafton, Chief Executive of the Insurance Council of New Zealand – Te Kāhui Inihui o Aotearoa – ICNZ. "As communities start assessing the scale of the event and the needs of those affected, such as short-term and medium-term accommodation for those whose homes are uninhabitable, insurers are here to help."
ICNZ says insurers have been supporting their customers since the red weather warning was issued by Metservice in New Zealand last week. "Importantly, for those who don’t have certainty on when they will be able to return home, be assured that your insurer will be there for you when you’re ready and able to get in touch to lodge your claim."
Recovery process could take some time
Grafton says that due to limited or no access to some areas, the recovery process may take some time. "It won’t be until the areas are fully accessible over the course of the week before insurers’ assessors will be able to get to the affected places to review the damage and what’s needed for the recovery. Clearing silt, drying out houses, getting resources and tradespeople into the region to undertake repairs will all take time and insurers will do everything they can to help their customers as quickly as possible."
ICNZ notes that for those with homes that are uninhabitable they may be eligible for a temporary accommodation benefit included in most home and contents policies, and to ask their insurer what support they can offer.