Nelson residents that were affected by the recent bushfires have been urged by the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO) to contact their insurers as soon as possible.

It’s important that in the interest of not disrupting your claim process, to check-in with your insurer before chucking out any smoke damaged items.

The IFSO have listed in a media release these four tips for making the claiming process easier for you in a time of stress and uncertainty.

1. Contact your insurer. Ask what you need to do to make a claim and ask your insurer to confirm this in writing.
2. Check your policy. Ensure you understand what your house sum insured is and what you are covered for.
3. Document any damage. Take photos or videos of your house and any damaged belongings. Make lists of all the damaged items and check with your insurer before you dispose of anything damaged by fire or smoke.
4. Ask about temporary accommodation cover. If you are unable to get back into your home, contact your insurer to ask about temporary accommodation cover, under either your house or contents policies.

If you’ve been affected, or are would like clarifications around your policy, contact your Adviser to discuss how to claim and any additional steps you need to take.

There’s been a period of around 6 weeks now where there’s been little rain in parts of the country and fire-bans are in action across parts of New Zealand as the risk of fire remains high. FENZ have also blogged some handy tips on how to protect your home from outdoor fires along with some other useful checklists. Stay safe.

AdviceFirst is a Financial Advice Provider (FSP23242).