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Earthquakes can leave structural damage

Shine’s Disaster Insurance Recover team said it was important to remember that even the slightest tremor can cause structural damage to homes and businesses.

“Sometimes the consequences of an earthquake may not become apparent for some time. There may be cracks to the foundations of a home or business for example, which on the face of it can be hard to see,” said Department Manager Emma Stephens.

“It’s important to keep these 6 top tips in mind after any natural disaster – no matter how big or small the impact. This will ensure you’re always in a good position should you need help to fix any of the impacts:

  1. If your think your home or business could be unsafe, notify local authorities immediately and remember you might be able to claim temporary housing expenses
  1. Be particularly careful about concluding that damage is cosmetic only
  1. Speak to a specialist before going ahead with repairs, even emergency repairs. Some insurers might try to deny a claim for unauthorised work but emergency repairs are permitted
  1. Locate your policy and review it to see what you can claim. Read your insurance policies and if you can’t understand them then ask someone who can help.  There are many categories of insurance cover that people are unaware of. You might be entitled to temporary housing for example or you might be able to recover the costs of an accountant, a builder, quantity surveyor or a loss adjuster assisting you to put your claim together. Get advice from a specialist if you have any questions at all
  1. If you do not have copies of your policies, request them from your broker or insurer and document your request in writing
  1. Notify your insurer immediately of any damage as they may have an emergency team that can assist you.”
Shine Lawyers' Disaster Insurance Recovery team are available to give you advice on how to proceed if you have any concerns. You can contact them and ask for Emma Stephens, who will be happy to help.


Written by Emma Stephens

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: July 29, 2015.

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