AMI, State And NZI Progressing Flood Claims At Pace
AMI, State and NZI progressing flood claims at pace – and now standing by to support customers affected by Cyclone Gabrielle
As of 9am this morning, AMI, State and NZI have received over 21,000 claims for the recent North Island floods (57% home claims, 21% contents, 6% commercial and business, and 16% motor vehicle).
AMI, State and NZI CEO Amanda Whiting says the recent flooding, and now the arrival of Cyclone Gabrielle, has been heart-breaking and hugely disruptive for those affected.
“These weather events are what we plan for and what we do – it’s why we exist.
“We are working our way through the flooding claims as quickly as possible, while also processing claims from those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. As always, our number one focus is supporting our customers and communities through this really tough time.
“Some claims will be settled quickly, if not already, but some will take time as each customer’s situation is unique. But no matter how long it takes, we will be here for our customers.
“We also know that these weather events will put significant pressure on the building industry and associated suppliers. We are actively working with our partners to minimise these challenges, however, there may be some delays as we work through this.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve paid out over $23 million in claims.
“The size and scale of these events are something we haven’t seen since the Kaikoura earthquakes. We have pulled in help from right across our business - we currently have 316 teams of builders on the ground stripping out homes, and we are focussed on expediting the claims process and closing claims for our customers as soon as we possibly can.
“Last week, I visited a few of our customers’ properties. The disruption to people’s lives was hard to see, but I was also heartened to hear the many stories of community resilience and to witness people pitching in to help each other.
“Our team is working extremely hard to support our customers and will continue to do so until every last claim is closed.
“Please be assured that paying claims and getting New Zealanders back on their feet is what we are here to do.”
Further information and numbers regarding Cyclone Gabrielle will be provided in due course.
First floods, then a cyclone - what is happening to New Zealand’s weather?
Forecasting insights from AMI, State and NZI’s meteorological team
AMI, State and NZI meteorologist, Dr Bruce Buckley, says the weather the North Island has experienced in 2023 is a classic example of warmer tropical seas feeding greater quantities of moisture into extremely damaging, heavy rainbands.
“While New Zealand’s physical location means it has always been susceptible to systems with tropical moisture influences, the effects of climate change and the current and future La Niña patterns means they are likely to have higher impacts when they occur.
“Typically, tropical cyclones transition into extra-tropical cyclones before reaching our shores, but they can still carry damaging winds and intense rainfall. New Zealand will become more susceptible to stronger storms, because having warmer, more tropical seas means there’s less opportunity for the systems to weaken before reaching New Zealand.”
In a survey conducted late last year by AMI, State and NZI Insurance, 82% of New Zealanders reported that they believe wild weather is becoming more severe and more frequent.*
NOTES TO EDITORS
* For more from this study, refer to page 7, Wild Weather Tracker, October 2022
For full commentary from Dr Bruce Buckley, refer to page 9, Wild Weather Tracker, October 2022
*For historical context, weather-related insurance claims data for AMI, State and NZI is available in our six-monthly Wild Weather Trackers.
From September 2021 – February 2022 we recorded ten major storms, including ex-tropical cyclone Dovi in February. During this period, we received 8,293 weather-related claims from our customers, an increase of 32% compared to September 2020 – February 2021.
How to make a claim
Often during a storm or flood, it’s difficult to know the full extent of damage to your home, contents, vehicle or business, especially if you need to leave your property.
We encourage AMI, State and NZI customers to get in touch once they have had a chance to assess the damage and it is safe to do so.
The quickest way to make an insurance claim is online, but they can also give us a call.
NZI customers should contact their broker.
Disaster Claims Hubs
We have information relating to issues such as emergency repairs, flooded carpet, evacuations, temporary accommodation and the process for lodging claims on our Disaster Claims Hubs:
NZI: Contact your broker. For general advice, go to https://iagnz.custhelp.com/
What to do if your property is damaged during a storm:
· Ensure you and your whānau are safe first. Follow all advice from Civil Defence.
· If you need to make a claim, as soon as you’re able to let us know about any damage to your property, the sooner we can help – especially if your home becomes uninhabitable or we need to arrange temporary accommodation for you, your family, and your pets.
· Be careful not to return to your home or business until it’s safe to do so and avoid anything that could potentially cause more damage.
· You can do temporary 'make safe' repairs to make your home safe and weathertight, such as boarding up broken windows, just try to take photos before you do so. Where possible, please contact us before you engage a tradesperson or make any non-urgent repairs.
· It’s okay to start to clean up if you’ve been affected by flooding, especially if it can prevent further damage, but remember it’s best to treat all flood water as blackwater (i.e., contaminated with sewerage), so make sure you stay safe by wearing heavy duty gloves, boots, and a face mask.
· If water has entered your home or business, turn off the power at the mains and ensure an electrician has checked the power supply before turning it back on.
· If your home or business is without power, you should turn your appliances off at the wall in case of a potentially damaging power surge.
What to do if your vehicle is damaged during a storm:
· If your windscreen has been damaged or your car has been flooded, please don’t attempt to drive it.
· There is no hurry to make a claim, but as soon as you’re able to let us know about any damage to your vehicle, the sooner we can help – especially if you have cover for a temporary vehicle that we can arrange for you.
· If your vehicle needs to be towed, remember to remove any personal items if you can, and make sure it’s securely locked with no keys left inside – the tow team will get in touch to pick your keys up instead.