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Batten down the hatches as storm moves north

Batten down the hatches as storm moves north, says AA Insurance

Auckland – 5 March 2014 AA Insurance is advising Canterbury customers affected by yesterday’s severe storm weather to contact them as soon as possible to make a claim, especially if they need emergency repairs.

AA Insurance has already received around 20 claims for flood and storm damage to homes and contents, and half a dozen for vehicles, and is expecting this to more than double by the end of the day, says Suzanne Wolton, AA Insurance Head of Customer Relations.

“However, at this stage it’s too early to estimate the cost of damage. The bad weather isn’t over yet for the rest of the country, so any estimate is sure to rise.

“The most common types of damage have been water related. We’ve had garages and ground level rooms flooded, flashings have lifted off conservatories, and roof tiles have lifted or completely gone, leaving holes that have allowed water damage to ceilings and the rooms below. We’ve also had vehicles damaged after getting stuck in water.

"There is no deadline to make a claim, but the sooner you let us know, the sooner we can help you. Although if you need emergency repairs in order to keep your home watertight and warm, such as mending a hole in your roof, then ring us as soon as you can,” continued Suzanne. “Our team is experienced in handling these weather-related claims and can give our customers the help they need to get things sorted quickly.”

As the bad weather moves north, AA Insurance expects the number of claims to rise over the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, those expecting the storms to hit should make preparations for their home.

“Now’s a good time to check your property and repair anything that may be damaged, or could cause damage to another part of your, or your neighbours’, property,” says Suzanne.

“During a storm we generally have a number of claims related to trampolines and other outdoor equipment flying over to the neighbours’ and damaging their property, or creating havoc on your own property. To avoid these types of incidents be sure to store away or secure items that may be move during a storm, such as garden equipment, outdoor furniture and sports gear such as trampolines.”

Customers should also be careful driving in flooded areas, not only for their own safety and the safety of their car, but to also prevent the additional flooding of properties from the bow-wave of their vehicle.

“If you need to drive then reduce your speed, don’t ignore road closed signs. Be aware that if your car has experienced water damage, then it may be unsafe to drive,” says Suzanne.

AA Insurance advises its customers to:
Keep clear of broken windows or roofs that may have suffered damage
If there is water in light fittings, turn your lights off and call an electrician
Take care when cleaning up broken glass or securing roofing
If it is safe to do so, place a tarpaulin over any areas where the roof is leaking
Remove any fallen debris from footpaths and walkways
If floors are wet, lift furniture to prevent staining
If possible, lift wet carpet to allow it to dry - don't use a heater, as this may shrink the carpet
If your vehicle has been damaged or suffered flooding it may be unsafe to drive - please don’t drive unless you absolutely need to
AA Insurance customers should call 0800 500 216, so we can assess the severity of the damage and arrange to have any damage to homes or vehicles repaired

If you need to leave your home
If you home is uninhabitable and you need to leave, take these steps – but don’t risk your personal safety to do so.
Turn off the power, gas and water
Secure your home as well as you can
Take any easily portable valuables or documents with you, and secure your contents as well as possible
Make sure your pets are safe and keep them with you if you can


ENDS

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