Govt rolls out service to help homeowners with natural disaster insurance claims

Hurricane Gabrielle caused extensive damage to many homes.

Tom Lee/Item

Hurricane Gabrielle caused extensive damage to many homes.

The government expanded services used after the Christchurch earthquake to help people with insurance claims after natural disasters.

Minister for Commerce and Consumer Duncan Webb said people whose homes were damaged by natural disasters – such as Hurricane Gabrielle and the recent flooding in the North Island – could use the service to help and support them if their insurance claim goes wrong.

The NZ Claim Resolution Service will be available from Monday to provide expert support to homeowners with insurance claims after natural disasters to avoid disputes, resolve issues and ensure claims are resolved as quickly as possible, he said.

The national service is modeled on the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service and Housing Advisory Service which helped 10,000 homeowners settle claims with insurance companies after the Christchurch earthquake.

* EQC has almost 2300 claims after floods and typhoons, and the number is still increasing
*BNZ last major bank to offer interest free emergency loans to typhoon victims
* New bank ANZ is offering flood/cyclone victims an interest-free overdraft, while ASB will only charge 0.01%

“We’re expanding on a service that did well in Christchurch to make it a permanent national service for all forms of natural disasters,” said Webb.

“Dealing with a damaged home can be very stressful for homeowners and it is important that they have access to the support they need.

“Early intervention before things go wrong, and independent technical and legal advice are key. The new national service will now make this support available to all homeowners affected by natural disasters.”


Whirinaki resident Hayley Greig has spent days cleaning her waterlogged house, and is so grateful for the help she and her family are receiving from volunteers.

Webb said the service was a “game changer” in Christchurch.

He says homeowners should always try to resolve issues with their insurance company first, but should contact the service if they get stuck or need support with an unresolved claim.

Insurers have welcomed the new service, noting the growing number of climate-driven extreme weather events leading to an unprecedented number of insurance claims.

Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa Chief Executive Tim Grafton said that while most claims were resolved smoothly after a major event, the new service would be invaluable in providing free and independent insurance-related advice to people in frequent places. very stressful time for them.

“This is especially important where there are complex claims. Having this understanding can often avoid misunderstandings and delays in resolving claims,” said Grafton.

“Where necessary, and especially where there may be disagreement between the values ​​of the loss, such services can help avoid protracted disputes and support recovery.”

Funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, this service will provide homeowners with case management support, access to legal, technical and welfare services tailored to the needs of the individual and whanau.

A case manager will be available for those affected by the Auckland floods at a community support center from Monday. For those affected by Hurricane Gabrielle, support will be available locally as soon as possible.

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