North Island floods and cyclone: What you need to know about accessing support

Odds & Ends Written by Squirrel, Jan 31 2023

Our thoughts are with everyone around Tāmaki Makaurau, and the wider North Island, who’s been impacted by recent flooding and weather events.

If you’re a Squirrel mortgage customer, a Squirrel investor who needs to access funds, or you’ve previously arranged insurance via our team, here’s what you need to know about accessing support.

We’re here to help, so if you have any questions that we haven’t answered here, please get in touch.

If you need help with your mortgage…

Banks are doing everything they can to support and accommodate customers who have been impacted by the floods.

The exact nature of the support available will differ slightly from bank to bank, but support will be targeted – including options like the deferral of loan payments, moving to interest-only terms for a short period, temporary overdrafts or getting early access to term deposit funds.

You’ll need to deal with your bank directly (rather than through your adviser) to arrange this kind of support – but if you want some initial advice, or just to discuss your options, we’re here to help. You can either reach out to your Squirrel adviser directly or book in a chat with one of the team.

Many of the banks also provide some detail about their financial relief options online:

Additional support for eligible ASB customers

ASB is offering a one-off support payment of $2000 to customers who have had their homes red or orange stickered as a result of recent weather events. To be eligible:

  • You must have had an active banking relationship with ASB on Friday 27th January.
  • The address of the damaged property must match the address ASB had on file for you, as of 27th January 2023 (for damage relating to the Auckland floods) or as of 12th February 2023 (for damage relating to Cyclone Gabrielle)

If you’re an ASB customer, you can read up more about the one-off payment on their website, or call their dedicated phoneline on 0800 272 735 to apply. Applications must be received before 31st March 2023.

CCCFA changes to make it easier to access emergency funds (up to $10,000)

Temporary CCCFA changes have also been made to make it easier and faster for borrowers to access up to $10,000 in credit, either through a short-term overdraft or home loan top-up. The exemption means borrowers won’t be required to undergo extensive credit checks in order to access these funds.

To be eligible, home loan top-ups and temporary overdrafts must be issued before 31st March 2023. Customers will need to contact their banks directly to coordinate this support.

If you're borrowing from Squirrel...

And your property or development has been impacted by recent weather events, we ask that you please get in touch with our team to let us know, and we’ll work with you to discuss your options.

If you've got funds in a Squirrel investment...

And you need access to the funds you have invested with us, you can list your investments for sale on our secondary marketplace – for another investor to take up.

If you’re a Tower Insurance client…

Tower Insurance are contacting their clients directly, via both text message and email – so, if you haven’t heard from them already, they should be in touch shortly.  

Here’s what you need to know, from Tower’s customer assistance team:

  • Customers are being strongly encouraged to submit claims online, if possible. This will help keep phone lines free for those who have been most severely impacted and are in need of urgent assistance.
  • Tower claims assessors have been on the ground in affected areas since Saturday morning, with additional assessors having been flown in to provide support.
  • Tower has reiterated that they are well placed support their customers and Auckland’s recovery, in spite of the extensive damage caused by the weekend’s weather events.
  • Regular updates will be posted to the Tower website.
If you’re a Vero insurance client…

You should have received an email from us (if we previously arranged your insurance with Vero) letting you know what to do if you would like representation in making a claim.

If you’d like to lodge a claim directly:

  • You’ll need to have your Vero policy number handy
  • Urgent claims can be lodged by calling Vero on 0800 800 134.
  • If your claim is not urgent, please email it to Make sure to include your policy number and the phrase “weather event” in the subject line, to help with prioritising claims.
  • Prior to commencing any clean-up effort, please make sure you’ve thoroughly documented the damage (either on photo or video), as well as created a list of all the damaged items.
  • You can also find more information on the Vero website.
Finally, please stay safe out there.

A number of Civil Defence Centres have been set up around the country, offering support to anyone who has been evacuated from their homes and who can’t stay with friends or whānau.

The opinions expressed in this article should not be taken as financial advice, or a recommendation of any financial product. Squirrel shall not be liable or responsible for any information, omissions, or errors present. Any commentary provided are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily representative of the views and opinions of Squirrel. We recommend seeking professional investment and/or mortgage advice before taking any action.

To view our disclosure statements and other legal information, please visit our Legal Agreements page here.

We can help. Have a chat to one of our advisers.