How to streamline your insurance claim following a natural disaster

Shine Lawyers New Zealand - Right Wrong

Filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. The last thing you want to do is make mistakes that could jeopardise your chances of receiving a fair settlement from your insurance company. To help you navigate this process, we’ve put together a list to help when filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster.

  1. Contact your insurance company immediately
    The sooner you report the damage, the sooner your claim can be processed, and the faster you can receive payment for your losses. One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a natural disaster is waiting too long to contact your insurance company.
  2. Have full documentation to hand
    Ensure you have full documentation available to support your claim. This documentation should include photos, videos, receipts, invoices, and any other relevant evidence of the damage to your home, property, or assets. Not having full or comprehensive documentation of the damage caused by the fold can mean your claim is delayed or not paid.
  3. Keep detailed records
    Keeping detailed records of all the expenses related to the natural disaster and the insurance claims process is critical. This includes receipts, invoices, and any other evidence of the cost of repairs and replacements.
  4. Understand your insurance policy
    It’s important to understand your insurance policy and what it covers. Don’t assume that your policy covers all types of damage caused by a natural disaster. Read your policy carefully and know what is covered and what is not.
  5. Honesty is of utmost importance
    When filing a claim, it’s crucial to be honest and accurate about the extent of the damage and items damaged. Exaggerating a claim or adding items that were not damaged to your list of claimed items could not only result in your claim not being paid, but it could also void your policy.
  6. Wait to begin repairs
    It’s tempting to start making repairs as soon as possible after a natural disaster, but it’s important to wait until your insurance company has inspected the damage. While some emergency repairs may be needed, making substantial repairs before the insurer’s inspection process could result in an underpaid claim or a denied claim, as the insurance company may not have seen all the damage.
  7. Seek legal advice
    If you are unsure whether your insurance company will cover you, the extent of your cover, or if you have received advice that it won’t pay your claim to the full entitlement, you need to seek legal advice.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement from your insurance company after a natural disaster. Remember, the key to a successful insurance claim is having full or comprehensive documentation, being honest and accurate about the extent of the damage and understanding your insurance policy.

Shine Lawyers – we’re here to help

Shine Lawyers are expert insurance lawyers who act for insured individuals and are experienced in dealing with claims arising out of floods and natural disasters. 

Our team will investigate your claim, explain all the options available to you and provide advice on securing the best outcome for your home. 

Get in touch today to book an obligation-free consultation.


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