Rob: We’ve been living here for about 5 years, in this house. It’s just beautifully peaceful, a lot of trees, a lot of space around between the houses.
Lorna: I just thought it was wonderful because it was all the bird life and the quiet.
R: It was Tuesday 10th of April. We had our usual evening meal, we were sitting on the couch in front of the telly and the wind seemed to be gathering in strength over the course of the evening and I wasn’t too concerned about it and I know Lorna was a little bit apprehensive. She was getting up and down and checking out through the window to see what was happening.
L: That was the thing that was most worrying, was the wind.
R: I got up to fetch some paper work through in the garage where I have a little study.
L: and I had the cat on my lap, one of our big cats and I thought I’m just going to see what’s happening out there and I got up, put him down and as I came around the side of the couch there was just this sound, this incredible sound.
R: it was like a huge freight train coming through the roof, it was like a massive noise.
L: followed immediately by things falling.
R: and that’s when the tree came down.
L: I was hit on the top of the head by what probably was a roof beam and it knocked me down so that I fell between two couches.
R: When I got the torch beam onto her I could see that she was alive, her head poking out from all the rubble, the wreckage and I could see that she was injured with blood pouring down her face and I thought WOW this is a big deal, this is a huge thing that has happened to us and there are going to be enormous consequences.
The next morning I came back down to reassess the damage in the light of day and started thinking about contacting our insurers and trying to work towards recovery.
L: I had no idea really that it was so bad. The entire house was underneath the tree.
R: My priority then was to come back and try and rescue as much as I could from the house. The most valuable things were the pictures and the ornaments and things. You know the things that are really with you for a long time.
L: The things that, the things that really matter. You know the little treasures.
R: That was the most concerning time, what’s the response going to be from the insurers and are we sufficiently insured or not?
L: it would have been devastating to not be able to rebuild our home because it is everything that we have. You know all of our financial investment is in our home.
R: The ANZ Insurers were very prompt in responding, I was very grateful for that. Within 24 hours they came back and said we acknowledge receipt of your claim and a day later there was a guy here on site looking around, reassuring, asking questions and information about funds available for our temporary accommodation, funds available for storage and things like that. We had no knowledge of those things before. Because we were going through a very traumatic time and not knowing whether the house would ever be reinstated the way it was. They were able to reassure us over time that yes they were taking on the job and they would give us back our house. So having that reassurance from the insurers all the way through was really good and important.
L: We never had a hiccup, we never had a problem with all of the sort of immediate things that had to be paid for. And I could tell that he was getting really good support.
R: That proactive response from them was just enormous, it was just amazing to experience. When they removed the tree they couldn’t get a crane or a truck down here. They had to get an enormous mobile crane which was up on the street, which is probably 50 yards away. It just all happened so quickly and efficiently, it was just brilliant.
R: You’d come back one weekend and they would have the entire roof on, and you come back the next weekend and they’ve got tilers here or the Gibb stoppers and they are all doing their thing. The place is just humming with activity.
L: if you are underinsured or not properly insured or think you can do without insurance, but you know if something like this happens, you can right off 30 years of your working life. If you’re not properly insured.
R: Insurance is a huge thing and you may never need it but if you do need it it’s got to be there otherwise you don’t want to think about that eventuality. Nothing but good things to say about both ANZ and Vero.