With thousands of claims made after hurricanes and floods, these tips just might help.
For starters, be patient. Insurers say they prioritize urgent cases, so less urgent cases may take weeks or perhaps months to process.
Receipt and photo
Don’t panic if you don’t have receipts for all your lost or damaged items. The insurer doesn’t need it, but any documentation and photos you have is very helpful.
Check that policy
Remember that what you’re covered for depends on your policy, so check carefully.
You may be entitled to a new replacement, or you may receive a depreciated value of the item. In some cases, you can get a cash settlement, so if you can afford it, you can buy things in advance, knowing the money will come.
In other cases, the insurer may establish a preferred supplier.
Cover for accommodation
Many policies cover coverage for spoiled food or temporary accommodation, even accommodation for pets.
Take note of the rules and restrictions around paying for those accommodations, and if you are likely to be away from home for an extended period of time — budget wisely.
Also, check with your insurance company – you may be able to take advantage of accommodation benefits even if you live with friends or a whānau.
If you are not satisfied with your solution, you have several options:
The first port of call will be your insurance company, which will have its own complaints and appeals process.
If your claim relates to your home, you can also contact New Zealand’s newly established Claims Settlement Service.
You can also file a complaint about home or contents protection with the Insurance Ombudsman.
Tips for the future
The events of the last month are a reminder of how important it is to review your insurance regularly.
Make sure you have adequate coverage. We’d say do it every year. Consider chatting with a broker about getting the right type of insurance and the amount of coverage needed.
Check out online services to review your insurance.
Finally, many documents were lost in the floods, so make it a habit to take a photo of the receipt when buying high-priced items, so you have a digital record.