Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Top Enders urged to check their insurance following power outage

TIO has urged Top Ender residents and businesses to check their insurance policies if they have suffered a loss as a result of today’s major power outage.

General Manager Insurance Michael Hoare said some losses may be covered by insurance policies depending on the type and level of cover they have.

Types of losses that could occur include food spoilage, damage to electrical equipment and business interruption.

“Whether people are covered depends very much on the type of insurance policy they have and the level of cover,” Michael said.

“The best way to check is to read through your insurance policy, contact your insurer or check with yourbroker.”

Michael said customers should check equipment as power is restored to ensure they are still operating properly, particularly air-conditioners, pool pumps and electrical appliances.

Specific advice for householders

TIO policy holders with Premium cover can claim for spoilt food up to a value of $1000. Policy holders should do the following:
  • Make a list of the food
  • Take a photo if possible
  • Provide approximate prices.

TIO policy holders with Essentials cover only are not covered for spoilt food.

TIO Policy holders may also be covered for electrical equipment and appliances if they have sustained damage as a result of the outage. Customers are urged to check the equipment and contact TIO.

Specific advice for businesses

Businesses may be able to claim for a number of losses including spoilt food, equipment damage andbusiness interruption. The extent to which they can claim will depend on the type and level of cover they have taken out. They should contact their broker or TIO directly to check.

Michael said TIO had received nine calls from customers checking their insurance coverage with one enquiring about a claim for spoilt food.

TIO’s call centre was able to operate throughout the outage using backup generators. Darwin and Palmerston branches were impacted along with most of the ATM network. Palmerston branch has now reopened and the ATM at the TIO office in Mitchell street and at Palmerston are both available.

Top Enders urged to act now to minimise potential loss

Top Enders impacted by the major power outage have been urged to take action now to minimise potential spoiling of food in fridges and freezers.

TIO General Manager Insurance Michael Hoare said residents who followed guidelines published by the NT Government’s environmental health unit should suffer minimal loss of food.

“While some insurance policies do cover people for loss of food in a major power outage, there are steps people can take now to keep their food safe,” Michael said.

“Keeping your fridge and freezer doors closed during an outage can make a major difference to the usable life of food.”

For businesses, similar steps should be followed to protect food where possible.  Some businesses may have taken additional cover for food spoilage and they should check their own policies or contact their broker.

More information on food spoilage is available on the Northern Territory Government website