The Insurance Council of New Zealand urged landlords to contact their insurers to assess rental cover and temporary accommodation benefits in the wake of Auckland’s floods.

The severe flooding left many homes across the Super City uninhabitable, and ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton called on landlords to contact their insurers to review their options, particularly for tenants left without a home.

"The priority has to be people having a safe and dry place to stay," said Grafton. "If you have house or contents insurance and your house is unable to be lived in, contact your insurer or broker as you may be able to claim for a temporary accommodation benefit. Likewise, many property owners will have taken out landlord insurance that includes loss of rent cover as an option."

Grafton warned that insurance companies could be overwhelmed due to the summer’s events.

"While it is good that temporary accommodation benefits are in place for many insured tenants and owner occupiers alike, there is clearly very high demand for claims to be processed right now.”

The ICNZ said landlords should start the cleaning process once given the all-clear by Auckland Council and their insurers. They advised landlords to wear appropriate protective equipment to dry out their homes, starting with carpets and furnishings and beds, while using air conditioners, dehumidifiers and ventilation systems.

"It’s in the best interest of tenants, property owners and insurers to get on with drying out homes and getting them back to normal as soon as possible. However, given the scale of damage we are seeing across much of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and the rest of the Te Ika-a-Māui The North Island, we can expect this to take longer than normal. Aotearoa New Zealand’s insurers are in this for the long haul.”

March 2023