Help is on the way for thousands of abandoned homeowners struggling with insurance claims after the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.
The government introduced New Zealand Claims Resolution Services to help avoid disputes, resolve issues and resolve homeowner claims after natural disasters.
The service is modeled on the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS) and Residential Advisory Service (RAS), which were used during the Canterbury earthquake and proved successful with insurance companies.
Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs Duncan Webb said the majority of its 10,000 users find it very effective to settle claims with their insurance company.
“Loss of trust, lack of technical expertise or just people getting overwhelmed and anxious and getting over it. What that does is give people a helping hand, comes along, helps them. So 90% of people who have used this say they’d recommend it to people another to go there if they have insurance problems after a natural disaster,” Webb said.
People should sort things out with insurance companies first but support is there if people get stuck, he said.
“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you feel that you don’t have the technical advice you need or if you’re unsure that the insurance company is doing the right thing for you, this is absolutely a great place to come,” says Webb.
“So use that 0800 number or drop by one of the community hubs, just call the service and they are there to help.
“Homeowners who are concerned about their claim or unsure about the process can contact NZCRS on 0508 624 327, email [email protected] or visit (website).”
The service will be up and running on Monday, with a case manager at the community center in Auckland.
It will also be available locally to communities affected by Hurricane Gabrielle as soon as possible, but they will still be able to use phone service.