South Canterbury hailstorm recovery effort customer update

Damaging hail storms are a fact of life around the world, but it’s very infrequent that they are an issue in New Zealand.

The exception was South Canterbury on the afternoon of November 20 last year when during a very brief period hailstones the size of golf balls caused havoc for motorists and home owners alike.

Literally thousands of vehicles were caught in that storm, as well as homes and their contents, many of which belonged to our customers.

In the three months since the storm, AMI has 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 during the entire recovery operation has been to ensure we met the needs of our customers just as quickly as possible.

To do that we prioritised and ensured that we were able to help our hardest hit customers first. And that’s what we did – working with those people with property damage and vehicles that weren’t safe to drive.

Our experts assessed around 6,000 vehicles in the wake of the storm. Those vehicles fell into four categories.

  • assessed and booked for repair
  • repaired and return to owners
  • classified as uneconomic to repair but still safe to drive meaning owners were still able to drive them if required
  • vehicles that suffered such significant damage that they were not safe to drive and had to be written off

As mentioned, hailstorms of this magnitude are rare in New Zealand, but that’s not the case overseas. As a result, we were able to benefit from that international experience.

Part of that experience was the use of internationally accepted specialist techniques to deal with hail damaged vehicles, such as Paintless Dent Repair, which you can learn more about here

Despite all the work undertaken during the past few months, we know it will still be some time before every customer’s vehicle can be repaired, 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).

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.