Apia has released a list of the most commonly asked questions from its customers following last week’s NSW storms and floods. At the top of the list is food spoilage.
Apia spokesperson, Angela Wilkinson, said: “As flood waters recede, power is restored and the clean up from the storms continues, the focus is shifting to insurance and getting the claims process underway.”
Ms Wilkinson provides some advice to some of the most common issues facing customers, including food spoilage and what to do with water damaged contents.
Food spoilage coverage
Food spoilage is our most common issue, which is to be expected due the significant power outage to hundreds of thousands of homes and there are still many yet to be reconnected in the Hunter and Central Coast regions.
Food spoilage is automatically covered by Apia and if it’s the only claim you’re making there is no excess payment required. We also pay the funds straight into your account so there is no card activation or unnecessary waiting.
Wet and damaged contents
Do your best to dry out your wet contents as it will help prevent the quick build up of mould. If they are irreparable throw them away, but, where possible, take photos of your belongings and make a note of brand names and model numbers or keep the manufacturer manuals. This will help us to ensure we provide you with equivalent replacements.
This is also goes for any electrical equipment, such as fridges, televisions or toasters, but more importantly do not attempt to use them if they’ve been submerged in flood waters.
Water damaged home
We recommend you do your best to dry out your home by keeping it as ventilated as possible before assessors arrive. Again, this will help avoid the quick build up of mould and ensure repairs can begin as soon as possible, as generally your home and its foundations need to be dry before any repairs can take place.
Water damaged carpets
If water damage to carpet is minor, we will usually send a restorer to remove the excess water and salvage the carpet. If your carpet has been severely damaged by floodwaters and you need to get it replaced, you can dispose of it straight away, as keeping it can end up causing further damage.
Before disposing of your carpet, however, make sure you keep a small piece to show the assessor or photograph the carpet back where the make and brand is stamped. We will be able to replace it with a similar carpet and colour where possible.
Access to emergency funds and temporary accommodation
In the event of a natural disaster, such as flooding, and you’ve been displaced, we offer access to emergency funds. If your home is unliveable or you are displaced, we can also arrange temporary accommodation.
Removal of debris
The storms have caused a significant amount of damage to homes, including the uprooting and bringing down of trees and branches onto homes and car. Floodwaters have equally caused damage to contents and brought in debris that has further damaged homes.
If you have a home policy, we will remove debris where it directly impacts your home, prevents access or is required in order to repair your home. The most common example is when a tree lands on your roof causing damage and needs to be removed. If you have a contents policy, we can also remove damaged contents as outlined by your policy.
For any other questions about claims from the NSW Storms, customers are encouraged to contact Apia on 13 50 50. We also have a number of Customer Response Teams on the ground; one in Charlestown, near Newcastle, another in Maitland and one in Dungog from Friday, 30 April 2015.