Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by today’s series of earthquakes and ongoing aftershocks in the central and upper South Island, and lower North Island – we know this will be a distressing time for many.
IAG and its family of insurance brands have taken action first to ensure the safety of its employees. Buildings are being checked and employees in central Wellington have been advised to stay at home today. Other branches are being individually assessed. Our combined network is being mobilised, including customer support and call centre teams, to ensure we are able to support any customers with queries or claims.
We want to make your world safer, and though we can’t stop forces of nature, we can help you through them. Here’s how to stay safe around earthquakes.
During an earthquake
You may feel a large jolt, or a “rolling” of the earth below your feet.
- Stay calm.
- Get into the “drop, cover, hold” position – the best place for this is under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table. Exit when it’s safe to do so, and do not use lifts or elevators.
- If you’re outside, move away from trees, buildings and power lines, then drop, cover and hold.
- If you’re driving, safely pull over (away from buildings, trees and power lines, and remain in the car until the shaking stops. Avoid bridges or overpasses.
After an earthquake
Be prepared for aftershocks. Though they won’t be as powerful as the first one, they can still be severe and cause further damage.
- Check on people around you and tend to small injuries. If anyone is seriously injured, or there is a fire that you can’t safely contain, call the emergency services. Only use phone lines unless absolutely necessary, to keep them as open as possible for emergency calls.
- Put your family emergency plan into place – meet at a specific area, collect children from school etc.
- Keep pets under your immediate control – they may be disoriented and stressed.
- Check for damage to supplies – turn off water and electricity. If you hear a “whooshing” or hissing sound or if you can smell gas, open a window and order everyone out. If you can safely turn the gas off, do so. Inform the authorities of the escaping gas and other damaged amenities.
- Stay tuned into your local radio station and heed all instructions from Civil Defence or emergency service personnel. Stay away from damaged areas and debris.
If your home, car or contents have been damaged by an earthquake, take photos and report it to us as soon as possible. If you have a claim:
- Phone EQC first on 0800 326243 (0800 DAMAGE).
- EQC may check (‘verify/ insurance verification’) the caller has relevant private insurance – and that the policy is current.
- Get your EQC claim number.
- Phone your private insurer and provide your EQC claim number. If you are an AMI customer, you can call 0800 100 200, for State call: 0800 802 424. For NZI/Lumley: please contact your broker.
For domestic properties, EQC covers the first $100,000 for house and $20,000 for contents damage. You can lodge a claim with EQC either online or by calling the number above. You will need to make a separate claim for your house and contents.