Karen Stevens, Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, advises residents affected by flooding in the wider Wellington region to call your insurance company before you start your clean up.
“We’ve seen many cases where people have cleaned up after a flood, thrown all the damaged items away, then had difficulty proving that the items were damaged," says Ms Stevens.
The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme has dealt with a number of flood related insurance complaints over the last 20 years. “We understand it’s a really difficult time and people are stressed, but by calling your insurance company as soon as possible, you could avoid problems later on. Don’t clean up before thinking about what you need to make your insurance claim.”
Ms Stevens says the recommended steps for people can take include:
1) Call your insurer before you start your clean up. Ask them what documentation they will need for your claim before you start and before you throw anything away. Ask your insurer to confirm this information in an email or letter.
2) Read your policy to ensure you know what you are and are not covered for.
3) Document the damage. We suggest people take photos or videos of your house and any damaged belongings.
4) Make lists of all the damaged items and take photos before you dispose of them.