Timaru hailstorm recovery effort customer update


As New Zealand heads back to work after the Christmas and New Year break, we thought it was time to update you on the recovery effort following the unprecedented hail storm that battered Timaru in late November.

Timaruvians don’t need to be told that literally thousands of vehicles were caught in that storm, as well as homes and contents, many of which belonged to our customers.

They will also know that since that day, we’ve brought in assessors and hail repair specialists from around the country and around the world to deal with the damage caused by the storm.

Our objective from Day One has been to ensure we could meet the needs of our customers just as quickly as possible.

To do that we needed to prioritise and ensure that we could help our hardest hit customers first. And that’s what we’ve done – working with those people with property damage and vehicles that weren’t safe to drive.

Our assessors have assessed more than 5,000 vehicles. Those vehicles fall into four categories.

  • Those cars that have been repaired and return to their owners
  • Vehicles that have been assessed and booked for repair
  • Vehicles that have been classified as uneconomic to repair but are still safe to drive meaning the owners of these vehicles were still able to drive them over the Christmas New Year period
  • Those vehicles that suffered such significant damage that they are not safe to drive and have had to be written off

Hail storms of this magnitude may be rare in New Zealand, but that’s not the case overseas. As a result, we have been able to benefit from that international experience.

Part of that experience has been the use of internationally accepted specialist techniques to deal with hail damaged vehicles, such as Paintless Dent Repair, which you can read about here.

Despite all the work that’s been during the past couple of months, we know it will be some time before we can repair every customer’s vehicle, and we thank you for your patience as we work as fast as we can to assist all our customers.

You can view the latest frequently asked questions here.

Haven’t claimed yet?

We are also concerned that we may not have heard from all of our affected customers. If you have hail damage and you haven’t lodged a claim yet, you can lodge your claim online or call us on
0800 80 24 24.

Already lodged your claim?

If you’ve already lodged your claim, you can track how things are progressing by logging into your My State account. If you haven’t registered for an account yet, you can create an account here – just remember you’ll need your policy number handy.

If you have any questions about your claim or this hailstorm, you can get in touch either by calling 0800HAILST (0800 424578) or message us through Facebook (business hours only).

Sorting your claim

A lot of people in Timaru and Ashburton have experienced damage due to the storm, so we’ve had a lot of claims in this small region. Our repairers have a lot of work to get through and may take longer than usual to get everything fixed.

We’re prioritising vehicles that are unsafe to drive and significant property damage, so we can minimise the storm’s effect.

Thanks for being patient with us. We’re doing everything we can to keep your claim moving.