AMI, State And NZI Insurance Here For Customers Affected By Cyclone Gabrielle
AMI, State and NZI Insurance’s Major Event Response team has mobilised to support customers affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
As of 9am this morning, we have received around 2,300 claims, and we expect that number to rise significantly in coming days as customers are able to assess damage, and people who have been evacuated return home.
Most of these claims are from Auckland, Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. It is not surprising, at this stage, to see small numbers from the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne as people are evacuated, isolated or have limited access to communications.
These claims are in addition to the 21,000+ claims already received for the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods.
AMI, State and NZI CEO, Amanda Whiting says, “The devastation that Cyclone Gabrielle has caused across the North Island is incredibly distressing, and our thoughts are with all our fellow New Zealanders.
“As the country’s largest general insurer, we are now stepping up a significant event response for our customers.
“This includes rapidly adding personnel from across New Zealand and Australia to support our claims teams, increasing call centre lines and hours, and bringing on additional partners and suppliers so we can accelerate work where it is safe and practical to do so.
“We’re also proactively reaching out to our customers through all the means available to us – whether that’s through print, radio, social media, email, brokers, news outlets and other digital formats. We also intend to be on the ground in affected communities once it is safe to do so, and once council information hubs are set up.
“We are working at pace so people can have the reassurance and information they need from their insurer.
“We are absolutely committed to supporting our customers through this. This is what insurance is for - and we will remain committed until every last claim is closed.”
Given the nature of these events, we ask customers outside the impacted areas to wait to lodge any claims they may have, unless they are urgent. This will enable us to prioritise our efforts to flood and cyclone-affected customers first.
How to make a claim
Often during a storm or flood, it’s difficult to know the full extent of damage to your home, business, vehicle or contents, 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/
Key points –
Flooded carpet - Lift your wet carpet and underlay and move it outside, if possible. This will help your home dry out. Please treat all flood water as blackwater (i.e. contaminated with sewerage), so make sure you wear heavy duty gloves, boots, and a face mask.
Mould – Having windows, doors and skylights open as much as possible to increase ventilation throughout your home will help to prevent mould from growing. If mould begins to appear, you can use domestic mould-specific cleaning products to help remove it. Please ensure you follow the instructions and wear appropriate safety gear e.g., a mask and gloves as a minimum. If you have a medical condition or are experiencing vulnerability, please contact us to discuss alternatives.
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.
- 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.
- Also, if you have contents insurance, let us know if any items in your car were damaged.
Wild Weather Tracker
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.