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Auckland – 7 September 2010 – AA Insurance is streamlining complex claims and recovery processes for customers who are victims of the Christchurch earthquake and is urging residents in badly affected areas to be safety conscious.
“AA Insurance has sent claims staff into the most affected areas and they have started visiting the most damaged properties. What we are seeing is that people are reluctant to leave houses that have sustained significant damage,” says Martin Fox, Deputy General Manager, AA Insurance. “Older people in particular who may have lived in their home for a long time are reluctant to leave and could be putting themselves in danger.”
AA Insurance is urging people to consider their safety first and has secured a significant number of rental properties and motel lodgings in the Christchurch region to provide alternative accommodation for those who have been most severely affected. AA Insurance is also able to cover accommodation for pets if people are worried about the safety of their animals. Some residents are reluctant to leave their homes due to missing pets and the SPCA is advising that many pets will return on their own. AA Insurance is urging people not stay in their homes waiting for pets to return if it is unsafe to do so.
“While people are relieved to have escaped without serious injury, the distress and trauma that naturally accompany an event such as this are just beginning to hit home. People want an understanding response, they want practical help and swift action; they don’t want to get bogged down by administration or frustrated by unreasonable delays,” says Martin Fox. “Our people will try to reduce their stress by ensuring they are safe and we’re doing whatever we can to help them as quickly as possible.”
Important points to note
If you suspect your home is damaged or may be unsafe – get out and don’t put yourself in danger. Contact AA Insurance on 0800 500 216, or your insurer, to arrange alternative accommodation.
If you need emergency assistance – a plumber, for instance to fix a leak – don’t wait. Call one, get the job done and keep the receipt.
Keep photos or records of anything you need to throw out to make your home comfortable.
AA Insurance has assessors in the Christchurch region ready to inspect any damage to your property and contents or help by providing advice and reassurance.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your claim is, if you’re insured with AA Insurance, call 0800 500 216 and AA Insurance staff will find your policy number, help sort out who will pay for what and assist with your Earthquake Commission claim. You can contact the Earthquake Commission at www.eqc.govt.nz or over the phone on 0800 652 333.
If your vehicle has been severely damaged during the earthquake do not attempt to drive it. If you suspect your vehicle has been damaged by flooding it may also be unsafe to drive. Please contact AA Insurance on 0800 500 216, or your insurer, first so that they can assess the severity of the damage. Damage to your vehicle is covered by your insurer, not the Earthquake Commission so please contact your insurer directly to arrange to have your vehicle repaired.
Further information and advice is available online at aainsurance.co.nz