Victims of ex-cyclone Lusi are being advised no to be too
hasty in throwing out damaged goods.
About 70 claims had been received by insurers so far across
the country, with the majority related to wind damage and
leaking roofs, a spokeswoman for AIG said.
"At this stage, the majority we've received have been from
our customers in the North Island, mostly in the upper North
Island," the spokeswoman said.
A spokeswoman for Vero said it was still early for most
claims to be lodged, but a handful had so far come in.
More were expected in the next few days, but the company did
not anticipate receiving a large number of claims.
Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Karen Stevens said it was
important people making a claim didn't throw out damaged
items before an insurance assessor had inspected them.
"If they throw those things away it's very difficult
sometimes to go back and prove they owned them," she said.
"They may not have proof of purchase left and if they don't
have the item either, it may look suspicious."
Ms Stevens said with flooded carpet, many homeowners wanted
to immediately rip it up and throw it out, but an assessor
would first need to check that it couldn't be salvaged.
"If an assessor doesn't see it they're not quite sure if
something is damaged beyond repair or, with the right
treatment, could have been sorted out," she said.
Homeowners were encouraged to take photographs to clearly
document the damage.
Ms Stevens also warned that "inflating" a claim with items
that were not damaged could lead to the insurer refusing the
The ex-tropical cyclone Lusi passed over the country during
the weekend, causing surface flooding and storm surges,
bringing down trees and disrupting power supply.
Civil Defence officials in Auckland said 63 events were
reported, including 15 reports of flooding and 35 of wind
damage from trees.
Businesses in Paihia, in Northland, were inundated by sea
water as the storm surge brought waves over State Highway 11
and into shops and restaurants.
The Insurance Council said it would be a couple of weeks
before they could give an indication of the total insurance
cost of the storm.