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Isolation causing delays in lodging insurance claims - AA Insurance

17/11/2016

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Auckland, 17 November 2016 – Claims from those living in areas most affected by the recent earthquakes are expected to take some time because of their geographical isolation, says AA Insurance.

“Many AA Insurance customers throughout the earthquake affected areas have notified us that they’ve experienced damage or loss, yet claims from those close to the epicentre, including Kaikoura, Waiau, Hanmer Springs and Culverden, have been relatively low,” says Simon Hobbs, Head of Claims, AA Insurance. “This is likely due to communication and isolation issues, so our first priority is to ensure these customers are safe.”

Home and contents claims received to date range in severity. At one end of the scale are broken TVs, appliances, pantry contents and crockery, cracked tiles and spoiled food, due to power going off. At the other end of the scale are claims for damaged water tanks, septic tanks and hot water cylinders that have often caused flooding to the rest of the home. Cracks to flooring and walls are also common, as well as shifting foundations, slumped flooring, warped door frames and buckled outdoor paths.

“We insure many customers in the worst hit areas of New Zealand. Our staff are identifying and prioritising vulnerable customers, including arranging temporary accommodation where required. If you are feeling extra vulnerable - you may be elderly, have medical needs, a disability, or have very young children - then we really want to hear from you, so we can help,” says Simon.

“We’re responding to these customers’ needs as soon as we can,” he continues. “Another complexity has been the weather conditions in the region and we hope this improves quickly to make it easier for those already in difficult situations.

“We want to assure all customers that there is no rush for these claims to be lodged and we are ready to deal with them once things settle down,” he says. “For those who have already lodged a claim, the majority of these are likely to be under the EQC cap of $23K for contents and $115K for home (inc GST), however we won’t know with certainty until properties are assessed.”

Examples of lodged claims:

  • In one example, a family was airlifted out of Kaikoura after their home developed a huge crack down its centre, and became unsafe. They were given emergency funds to purchase essentials – as they were unable to take much with them and are staying with friends in another part of the country.
  • Another customer’s home sunk in one corner, which meant all the doors in the home would no longer close. It also suffered cracks to both inside and outside the home.
  • One other customer’s tenants called to say the chimney had collapsed and fallen through the roof of the rental property.
  • Many customers were without power, water or sewerage facilities at the time of lodging their claim.

ENDS

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About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Suncorp Group. We have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand since 1994. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our more than 650 staff look after nearly 350,000 customers with over 700,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Eden Park, support youth charity Blue Light, and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011), NZ Insurance Industry Awards (since 2012), IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey (since 2008), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2016), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies.

AA Insurance has an A+ (Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit aainsurance.co.nz.

For more information please contact:

Nicole Steven, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, (09) 303 3867, 021 025 31886 or email nicoles@botica.co.nz

Amanda Fifield, AA Insurance Limited, (09) 927 2085 or email Amanda_Fifield@aainsurance.co.nz

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Media contacts

Amanda Fifield
Corporate Communications Specialist (Public Relations), AA Insurance

DDI: (09) 927 2085
Mobile: 021 406 1787
Email: mediacontact@aainsurance.co.nz

Lizzie Furnell
Corporate Communications Specialist (Corporate Affairs), AA Insurance

DDI: (09) 927 2077
Mobile: 021 023 60262
Email: mediacontact@aainsurance.co.nz

Nicole Steven
Account Manager, Botica Butler Raudon Public Relations

DDI: (09) 303 3867
Mobile: 021 025 31886
Email: nicoles@botica.co.nz

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