Vero scales up, brings in specialised team with Queensland flood experience
3 February 2023
Vero is scaling up its team today to support impacted communities as claims numbers from the North Island floods are expected to rise over the coming days and weeks.
On Saturday, just hours into the event, Vero began the process to bring on Australian-based recruits from its parent company Suncorp Group, many with first-hand experience of the Queensland floods, to support with the New Zealand response.
Around 90 Australian based Suncorp Group team members have been trained to help customers with their claims.
Suncorp Group is also looking to support AA Insurance’s (a joint venture between Vero and the New Zealand Automobile Association) dedicated home claims response team with additional resource.
The Australian recruits will join Vero’s existing frontline team today and will be dedicating 100% of their time to Vero’s response to customer claims via email and phone.
In addition, more than 50 of Vero’s existing team members have volunteered their time to help in the claims space.
Craig Stevens, Executive Manager for Event Claims at Vero says “The enthusiasm and willingness to help from our wider team has been enormous. They’ve been amazing, nothing has been a problem or too much trouble for them.
“The Australian team members we’ve brought in to help are very experienced with these types of events, with many of them having worked on the prior Queensland flood response. This team have been right behind us throughout this event and they are just so happy to be able to help.”
Stevens says these Australian recruits, coupled with the New Zealand based Vero team members who have “dropped everything” to support customers is a sign of Vero’s dedication to customers in the moments that matter.
“Our plan in the first instance, is to have this new team fully dedicated to helping customers lodge their claims and after about two weeks they will be able to turn much of their focus toward progressing claims that have been made in relation to this event.”
“Having this enhanced team also means we can continue to provide strong service to those customers that have claims that are unrelated to this event.”
Stevens says since the flooding began, the business has been able to triage claims in order to help those most vulnerable.
“Our customer facing teams are already trained to identify customers experiencing vulnerability, and we have been working to ensure we identify people who might be vulnerable, whether that be physically, mentally or financially, that will naturally need help first.
“Since Friday, we have had teams on the ground, not only to assess damage, but to assist customers with alternative accommodation if they have experienced significant damage to their homes.”
Vero Major Loss Event Coordinator, Steve Booth, says while the team is working hard to set expectations for customers around repairs, the full scale of the disaster is yet to be realised and it will take some time to assess the damage.
“This is a significant weather event and we’re still building a picture of the overall impact on our customers and business.
“Typically, it will take from between a month to six weeks to get a full view of the customer impact and the expected claims cost.”
“The country is, of course, already experiencing a shortage of building supplies such as jib so customers will need to take that into account when it comes to organising timely repairs to their properties.
“While certain types of damage should be able to be cleared up relatively quickly, there will be a longer wait for customers that have experienced the likes of total losses or land damage.
“In the meantime, we’re working closely with Morgan Project Services, who are our project management and building partners, to assess damage to property and improve our understanding of what customers are requiring.
“Customers who have experienced land slips should still lodge their claims with us and these will be looked after, by our dedicated teams as part of our agreements with EQC.”
Booth says the business will continue to work at pace to respond to the event and would like to reassure Vero’s brokers and customers that responding to claims is the business’s top priority.
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