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Take photos to support your claim

Before you start cleaning up after a natural hazard event, it’s important to take photos of any damage. These photos will support your claim and help your insurer understand the amount of damage to your property. Take photos before you repair, move, or get rid of anything. Without proof of damage, it may be more difficult for your insurer to resolve your claim. 

Please only start taking photos when it is safe to do so, and follow local civil defence and council advice. 

Photograph all the visible damage

You should take photos that show:

  • damage to your home and separate buildings, such as a garage or garden shed 
  • the front, sides and back of your home, and any separate buildings 
  • multiple angles of rooms that have been damaged, using wide and close-up shots that zoom in on details 
  • damage to your land, including the land under your home if possible 
  • damage to retaining walls, bridges and culverts 
  • debris or silt inundation left behind by flood waters on your land, or under your home 
  • your mailbox or house number, to confirm the location of the damage 
  • the size of the damage, using a tape measure if possible.

Make a list of each area or item you’re photographing as you go around to help you help you identify the shots in the future and make sure you capture everything. You should also note what date the photos were taken, or turn on the date stamp on your camera. 

Review your images as you go

If you are using your phone or digital camera, check the photo on the screen to make sure the detail is clear and you’ve captured what you need.  

Blurry images make it harder to assess damage. If your images are appearing blurry, try to brace yourself against something, stand your camera on a solid surface, or use a tripod.

If the photo looks too dark, open curtains to let in as much light as possible, then stand with your back against the window. You can also turn on the flash or turn up the camera’s brightness control. 

Sending your photos

Send these photos to your insurer when you make a claim for natural hazard damage, or to your claim manager if you already have one assigned to you.