In the weeks since the Cyclone Gabrielle and the devastating floods in the North Island, residents are still coming to grips with the enormity of the event. It is, however, encouraging to see people starting to look forward and think about the way ahead.
Part of that, of course, is insurance, which should be there to protect us against catastrophes such as what happened in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle.
So if you have insurance for your house, contents, car, farm or business, what should you do?
That’s the record of what you are covered for. Don’t take for granted what you’re told should be covered, or take your insurance company’s word for what is covered. Read your policy. If yours is lost or destroyed, you can ask for a copy. You might be surprised at what cover you have. For instance:
You should also check for add-ons, as it's unlikely your insurance company will point them out to you.
If you are in a dire financial situation, don't be afraid to ask whether the insurance company might give you a cash advance in part of your claim entitlement. If the insurance company is satisfied your home is a write-off, it may pay an upfront amount for immediate needs.
If you have a rental property, it’s likely there will be cover for loss of rent. If the house is a total loss, you could ask for this to be paid out straight away.
When starting the clean up process, make sure you do not preemptively throw everything out. Your insurance company may want to see property before paying out, so at least try and make detailed records of what you throw out, and photograph valuables. Contact your insurance company first and do not rush to throw everything away.
When speaking to a claims handler, make a note of the person’s first and last name, date and details of the call. That way if there is any dispute about what was said, you have a date, time and name to refer to.
Our team here at Canterbury Legal has significant experience dealing with EQC and insurance claims. We've helped hundreds of homeowners to successful resolutions with theirs. So get in touch for a free, no-obligation consultation with our insurance experts.