Mobile Customer Response Teams from AA Insurance are in Christchurch providing direct emergency assistance to their customers. They will be operating from mobile claims centres, moving around the Christchurch region in areas where customers are most affected. Today they are in Barnett Park and Burwood Park Bowling Club car park.

“Our message is, you’ve paid for your insurance, don’t hold back on using it,” says Suzanne Wolton, Head of Strategy, Pricing and Corporate Affairs, AA Insurance. “This is an extraordinary event and we are going to make an extraordinary response.”

“For instance, many Christchurch people have cars they can’t retrieve inside the CBD cordon, whether the car is damaged or not. If this is the case, customers can call us and we’ll arrange a rental vehicle for you. If your car is damaged and is an insurance claim, that’s covered by your policy. If you are lucky enough to get your car back undamaged, the rental will be at exceptionally competitive rates.

Each Customer Response Team includes staff from AA Insurance, SIS Insurance, AMP and Vero and each company has deployed additional staff to Christchurch. All will be clearly identified with branded clothing, hats, and name badges, and all will be able to prove their identity. To get the latest locations of the mobile claims centres see newspaper and radio advertisements, call 0800 339 539, visit, or follow @AAInsuranceCRT on Twitter.

“People may also not realise that their insurance covers things like temporary accommodation and emergency funds for their contents, such as clothing or toiletries,” says Suzanne.

“Temporary accommodation grants aren’t just to cover the cost of renting accommodation. If you’re staying with friends or family, we can help you out with things like board because you shouldn’t have to put a financial strain on other family members. And if you want temporary accommodation outside of Christchurch, or indeed outside the South Island, give us a call. We’ve put people into temporary accommodation in places as far away as Auckland.”

“This isn’t a time for processes and procedures, it’s a time for getting help. So call us and tell us what you need right now – you don’t have to be ready to make the complete claim before you call us.”

“Everyone’s claim is going to be different. Some people want to rebuild, some want to resettle somewhere else. That’s okay, and some choices are going to have consequences. For instance, if you want a cash settlement for your property, we can certainly discuss that. But bear in mind that it’s for the house only, not the land. The point is, if you give us a call we can probably find a solution that works for you.”

Canterbury has seen such massive destruction that insurers are going to have to approach the problem in significantly different ways. For instance, there’s going to be a heavy call on services such as those of assessors and engineers and it’s going to require exceptional levels of co-operation between insurance companies and the EQC and the government to make sure things are done as efficiently as possible.

“I want to assure people that this co-operation is already in place and the mobile claims centres are a good example,” adds Suzanne. “We learned some important lessons after September’s earthquake.”

About the author

AA Insurance is committed to supporting our customers in any way we can during this difficult time. AA Insurance specialises in car insurance. We understand what motorists need and we provide the cover and benefits that will get you back on the road as soon as possible. Insure both your home and contents with us and get a discount.