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 do so online here or by phoning 0800 100 200. You can also track the progress of your claim by logging into your My AMI account, by phoning 0800HAILST (0800 424 578) or message us on Facebook. 

Already lodged your claim?

If you’ve already lodged your claim, you can track the status at any time by logging into your My AMI account. If you haven’t registered for an account yet, you can do so 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 by calling 0800HAILST (0800 424578).

Getting things sorted

We understand that a lot of people in the Timaru and Ashburton areas have been affected by this storm. Due to the large number of claims in this small region, repairs are likely to take longer than usual.

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

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to get things fixed as quickly as possible.