Home insurance: what to expect when you make a claim after a storm or flood

Storm damage to a home hit by lightning.

We’ve outlined each step of the claims process so you know what to expect if you need to make a claim after a storm or flood for damage to your home and land.

Storms and flooding can damage both your home and your land. It’s helpful to understand how these types of claims differ from other home claims:

  • If your home is damaged during a storm or flood, this will be covered by your private home insurance policy.

  • If your land is also affected by the same event, Toka Tū Ake EQC may provide cover for the damage to your land, if it falls within the terms and limitations of EQCover.

If you need to make a claim after a natural disaster (earthquake, natural landslip, volcanic eruption, tsunami, and hydrothermal activity), you can find out more about how your claim might be managed on our blog.

How do I get covered by EQCover?

If you have private home insurance, you’ll automatically pay the Toka Tū Ake EQC levy as part of your insurance premium and, therefore, gain EQCover for your land in the event of a storm or flood.

If, like AA Insurance, your insurance provider is part of the partnership with Toka Tū Ake EQC, your land claim will be managed by your insurer on behalf of Toka Tū Ake EQC. They will assess, manage and settle your entire claim – including the EQCover portion of it – on behalf of Toka Tū Ake EQC and be your point of contact during the entire claims process.

What to do after an event

  1. Assess the situation: stay calm and make sure you and everyone else at the scene are out of danger. Only return home if it’s safe to do so. Take care of your safety first, then, if you can do it safely, check to see what damage has occurred.

  2. In case of emergency: if you need emergency accommodation, please call us on 0800 500 216. If you need to make a claim, the fastest way you can do that is claim online at aainsurance.co.nz/claims.

The claims journey

Home insurance claims can be complex. The claims journey detailed below is an indication of how your home claim will be handled if you’re a customer with us, but please bear in mind that each claim is unique.

  1. Once you lodge your claim, you’ll be given a claim number. If you made your claim online, we’ll get in touch with you and take you through the next steps in the claims process. If you made your claim over the phone, you’ll be taken through the next steps on the call. A Customer Manager will be appointed to your claim and keep you informed throughout the process.

  2. If your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of an event covered by your policy, we’ll cover the reasonable costs of temporary accommodation for you, your family and even your domestic pets while your home is being assessed, repaired or rebuilt, subject to the limits of your policy. Find out more in the ‘Standard benefits – cover automatically included’ section of your policy document.

  3. If you have a contents policy with us and your items were also damaged or destroyed in the same event, you’ll only need to pay one excess per event under our ‘one event, one excess’ benefit. An excess is your contribution towards the cost of the claim(s) and your insurer pays the rest. Other excesses may apply for the EQCover portion of your claim – see below for further details.

  4. The assessment and settlement process will vary depending on the damage. Your Customer Manager may appoint an assessor or a builder or they may ask you to provide more information about the damage.

  5. If your property has suffered land damage during the storm or flood, we’ll likely organise for an assessor to visit your property and put together an assessment report. Following this, an assessment from a registered valuer and geotechnical engineer may be required. They’ll help us to determine the cost of repairs and will provide us with a valuation report.

  6. Once we have completed all assessments, and reviewed any required reports or quotes, we’ll be in touch to explain the next steps. It’s important to note that any cover for land will be provided by Toka Tū Ake EQC; your insurance provider will be acting on their behalf.

How will my claim be settled?

Depending on the result of the assessments, your home will be repaired, rebuilt or settled in cash by your insurance provider, following the usual home claims process. If you’re a customer with AA Insurance, you may qualify for our replacement cover. Our replacement cover allows for full repair, rebuilding or replacement of the damaged portion of your home to the reinstatement condition, regardless of the sum insured, provided you’ve taken steps to set an accurate sum insured and size of your home. You can find out more about replacement cover on our blog.

EQCover also provides cover for your land within certain limits and conditions. It's important to note that not all land is covered - find out more about the residential land that is covered on Toka Tū Ake EQC’s website.

The settlement amount for your EQCover land claim will either be the lower of:

  • the market value of the relevant area of land plus the indemnity value of any covered damaged land structures; or

  • the repair or reinstatement cost of the covered damaged land area plus the repair or reinstatement cost of any covered damaged land structures.

Claims paid under EQCover are generally cash settled. Find out more on the Toka Tū Ake EQC website.

What excesses apply in an EQCover claim?

An excess is the amount you pay when you make a claim on your insurance policy.

The EQCover excess applied for land claims is 10% of the land settlement amount with a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $5,000.

When should I make a claim?

The sooner you get in touch, the sooner your insurer can help. Your insurance provider may need your policy number or personal details to locate your relevant policy. If you’re insured with us, start your claim online or give us a call on 0800 500 216 when you’re ready.

I’ve made a claim. What’s next?

In a large-scale event, all claims where immediate help is required, such as emergency repairs and accommodation, are prioritised. When you lodge your claim, we’ll ask you for any additional information we may need to progress your claim and take you through the next steps. Once you’ve lodged a claim, there’s nothing more you need to do.

In some large-scale events, claims for certain types of damage or replacements for certain items could take longer than expected.

Want to learn more?

If you’re looking for further information about our claims process or would like to find out more on simplifying insurance, check out our other blogs.

Any questions?

Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

This blog provides general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation or personalised financial advice. Excesses, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to AA Insurance Limited’s policies. Please check the policy wording for details of cover. The provision of cover is subject to the underwriting criteria that apply at the time.

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