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Information to help small businesses with earthquake claims

15 August 2011

Insurance & Savings Ombudsman provides information to help small businesses with earthquake claims.

The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman (ISO) Scheme Inc. has produced a consumer information sheet to help small businesses in Christchurch with earthquake-related claims.

"Understanding what your business insurance does and does not cover is really important when you need to make a claim for earthquake damage," says Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Karen Stevens.

"Many business owners are in very difficult circumstances, and we think it is important to give some them some indication of what to expect when they make claims." Ms Stevens said.

The information sheet explains that the Earthquake Commission (EQC) does not cover loss or damage caused by earthquakes under a business insurance policy. It includes helpful things business owners can look for when reviewing their policies, for example what business interruption cover means and how long it lasts.

The ISO has dealt with a number of enquiries and complaints since the September and February earthquakes. Various issues that have emerged are covered in the information sheet. It includes advice about how business owners may be able to assist their claim's process by providing as much information as they can to their insurer - if at all possible, given the extenuating circumstances.

"Remember your insurer will have limited knowledge of your business, so it's important to provide as much information as possible to give the insurer enough to assess your claim," Ms Stevens said.

The ISO's role is to resolve complaints made by customers about their insurance companies which are members of the ISO Scheme. Small businesses (that qualify under the ISO Scheme) can use the ISO Scheme when they have taken a complaint through their insurance company's own complaint process without reaching a resolution. It is a free service to consumers and small businesses.


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