When Disaster Strikes

11 April 2017
Recent events in the Eastern Bay have shown that while sometimes there are things out of our control how we prepare and respond to these disasters can greatly affect the overall outcome.  
Most of us will have house insurance.  Of those that have house insurance most will have vehicle and contents insurance as well.  How good that policy is can really only be tested when a claim is made.  It is for this reason that insurance brokers will often recommend an insurance product that has been proven to be sound from an insurance agency that is proven to be efficient and honourable with their claims.
The best approach for someone who has experienced property loss from a natural disaster is as follows:
1) Keep yourself and your family members safe and adhere to instructions and recommendations by Civil Defence, Police and other authorities.  There is no piece of property – no matter what the sentiment that is attached to it – that is as important as the welfare of you and your family.
2) Contact your insurance broker/agency as soon as possible and get in to the system.  Your agent should be able to advise what to do in the immediate aftermath in order to ensure that you receive all your entitlements under your insurance policy
3) Secure alternative accommodation – generally most house insurance policies will have an allowance for this.  You need to know what the parameters are and how you will be compensated.  This could determine the type of accommodation, the location and of course the budget.  
4) When purchasing essentials don’t go overboard.  Don’t assume your insurance agency is going to compensate for everything. They may compensate you for clothing but not the designer ball dress that you’ve had your eye on since last season.  
5) Keep receipts for everything that you spend on items that you need to cover yourself until such time as your insurance claim is settled
6) If you have your house, car and/or contents insurance with the same agency and you are claiming on more than one of these ensure you are charged only 1 excess.  It will be the higher of the excesses but you should only be charged for one
Remember that not everyone at the insurance agency is experienced in all types of claims so if you have used an insurance broker you are able to use their expertise to assist you in the claim.  If you have arranged the insurance through a bank or insurance agency and you feel that you are being unfairly treated or the information given to you doesn’t seem right you can ask to speak with someone more senior and/or ask for a copy of the policy wording.  

This post was written by

Trish Marsden - who has written 96 posts

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