Sophie Ryan

Sophie Ryan is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Storm: Hundreds of insurance claims lodged

A car on King Edward Parade this morning.
A car on King Edward Parade this morning.

The storm that lashed the top of the North Island overnight causing widespread damage has caused more than 700 people to contact their insurers about repairs.

Before 3pm today, IAG New Zealand had received more than 600 claims from customers insured with AMI and State.

Head of Corporate Affairs for IAG, Craig Dowling, said half of the claims were from Auckland and Northland.

Around 300 claims from the Coromandel Peninsula, Bay of Plenty and the Waikato coast came in today, he said.

"The bulk of these claims were for wind-related damage, with some reports of flooding.

"We also received some claims for flooding made in North Canterbury, with some properties significantly impacted."

Extra staff were called in to cope with the increase of claims, and many were working overtime.

"It's been very busy at our contact centre and in branches with our people dealing with claims from customers both on the phones and face to face."

Additional assessors, tradesmen, and flood and drying experts had been brought in following the storm, he said.

More than 100 insurance claims had been lodged with AA Insurance today for damage to roofs, windows and fences from the overnight storm.

AA Insurance called for people to make claims from last night's heavy rain and gale-force winds - 170km/h in places - as soon as possible.

Most claims were from Auckland, with a few relating to yesterday's flooding in Canterbury. Further claims were expected as severe weather warnings remained in place for the east of the North Island, including Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

Watch: Auckland storm aftermath

Video

AA Insurance head of customer relations, Suzanne Wolton, said calls were six times their usual frequency.

The most common types of storm damage have been to roofs, windows, and fences. We've had trees falling through windows or onto fences and roofs, there has been flooding throughout homes, and tiles lifted or completely gone, leaving holes that have allowed water damage to ceilings.

"One customer said that part of their fence had broken, leaving a gaping hole for the dog to escape, while parts of the fence had been caught by the wind and broke a window. They also had rainwater making its way through the kitchen bi-fold doors, which had soaked the floor."

Ms Wolton said it was too early to estimate the cost of damage.

"We're keen to hear from our customers who need emergency repairs to their homes in order to keep them watertight and warm.

"There is no rush to make a claim, but the sooner you let us know, the sooner we can help you. Although if you need emergency repairs -- such as mending a hole in your roof or replacing smashed window panes -- then ring us as soon as you can."

Photos: Auckland storm

- APNZ

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