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Don't Throw Away Flood-Damaged Goods

18 February 2004 PR 35/04
Don't Throw Away Flood-Damaged Goods

Farmers should keep anything damaged by floods in the lower North Island until these items have been seen by insurance assessors, said Tom Lambie, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"Some farmers might want to dispose of flood-damaged goods as soon as possible. But insurers advise that these goods should be retained until properly assessed," Mr Lambie said.

"Taking photographs and videos of damaged goods is a good idea, but retention is the preferred option," he said.

Assessors need to see damaged goods if the claims are to be handled as speedily as possible.

"Insurers say that they have received a large number of inquiries, so we urge farmers to lodge their claims as soon as possible.

"If local authorities order a farmer to dispose of certain items due to health reasons, do so, but first take a photograph," Mr Lambie said.

Similarly if a farmer is forced to slaughter stock for compassionate reasons, a photograph of the hurt animal would help with the insurance process.

Mr Lambie emphasised that insurers must remember that some farmers might not have access to telephones for lodging claims, or to a working camera, for some days if not weeks.

He felt for farmers who had lost livestock and fencing, which for sound financial reasons would not normally be insured.

The lack of widespread livestock insurance will be a severe blow to many of the worst-hit farmers, especially share milkers."

"Farmers needing clarification on their insurance policies should talk first to their brokers, and then to their insurers."

Ends

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