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8 March 2024


Broker advocacy overturns anniversary weekend aftermath claim

After a client's vehicle claim was initially declined by an insurer, we not only helped turn this decision around for our client but managed to get the offer increased to market value of the vehicle.

27 January 2023 is a date etched in the memories of many households across the upper North Island. As Aucklanders were preparing for a long anniversary weekend, a storm dumped 71mm of rain in just one hour, causing widespread flooding, slips, road closures and damage to thousands of homes.

Story Auckland day

The dangers of water damage

A few days after the storm, Aucklander Natasha Lee could hear the sound of water in her car when driving. While her car hadn’t been driven through floodwaters, water found its way into the interior cavity of her car. Following advice, she took quick action to dry the water out, yet still new issues started to occur with the car’s electrics.

“It was like my car was possessed; the lights would turn off and on, the radio stopped working, warning lights would appear, I’d lose steering. I took it to the auto electrician and he said: ‘It looks like water damage’”, Natasha explains.

Natasha has both personal and business insurance arranged through Gallagher, so immediately lodged a claim for the damage. After the car was assessed the insurer initially declined the claim.

That’s when Rochelle Dobbin, Gallagher Insurance Centralised Claims Team Manager, stepped in and worked hard to get the claim approved. “We reviewed the policy closely and worked directly with the insurer to interpret how the policy should respond in the event of a claim. The client was very pleased we managed to resolve the situation and get the claim paid out at the market value of their vehicle”, said Rochelle.

Advocating at claims time

Rochelle explains that at Gallagher Insurance we have good relationships with insurers and we leverage those relationships when needed. “If a claim is declined based on how the insurer sees it, we come in and advocate for the client and examine the policy wording, to see what we can do to act in the client's best interest,” says Rochelle. 

Natasha agrees there is real value in having a broker to call on. “We’ve had insurance with brokers both personally and through the business for 18 years; a broker’s service is important to me. If we’re undergoing a loss, there is stress and emotion around that situation and a broker can look at the details of a policy logically and rationally and advocate without the emotion. So just to hand it over to somebody and know that it’s been dealt with is so worth it.”

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