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Faster Response to Disasters with Switched On and Partners

11 January 2017
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In 2009 Switched On successfully tendered for and were awarded a seven year exterior paint maintenance project with Cathedral Grammar. After the 2011 earthquakes, Switched On undertook the challenging project of ensuring the highest level of paint finish was achieved with old timber windows and weatherboards.


New Zealand was rocked on November 14th 2016 as a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit. Roads and hillsides were ripped apart, railway tracks were plucked and tossed ten metres to the side, and the ceilings and walls of homes cracked and crumbled. Kaikoura, the worst hit, was completely isolated, accessible only by helicopters for several days, and some roads still remain closed. Teams struggled valiantly against both debris and the torrential rains and winds that severely hampered their efforts. The quake diverted the Clarence River and the slip dam that had formed soon breached, flooding downstream areas. 

Christchurch, which suffered heavy loss of life and damage from two earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, is still trying to recover from the tragedy and the forty-one billion dollars worth of damage. It is estimated that repairing the earthquake-damaged roads alone, in and around the Kaikoura regions will cost billions of dollars. To the small town residents of the quiet towns that were worst hit, the widespread damage to homes in their area is devastating.

Insurers Respond with Claims Help

The Earthquake Commission of New Zealand (EQC) covers damages of up to one hundred thousand dollars for land and property, plus up to twenty thousand dollars for home contents. Private insurers like Tower Insurance, who will cover the claims of their policyholders beyond this cost level, have stepped up to help earthquake victims file their EQC claims, which is a welcome gesture. Construction contractors like Switched On are also on standby to begin the job of getting things back in order. For people who have come back to unlivable circumstances, each day is a struggle after already suffering so much from the literal shock. Established partnerships between construction contractors, insurers and loss adjustors will go a long way to ensuring that victims get the help that they need in as little time and with as little fuss as possible.

With over 30 years industry experience, Switched On has built a reputation for delivering high quality painting, electrical, building and project management services. In addition, as 100% New Zealand owned and operated with expert construction contractors operating out of Christchurch and Wellington, Switched On is in the best position to provide timely and professional help. With a proven record in the residential, commercial, education and government sectors, the company has the ability to cover an incredible range of projects, and experience with a very large range of clients. Work is always delivered with the highest level of skill and professionalism.

Most insurers will cover home insurance policyholders’ costs for temporary accommodations, but access to other daily essentials is not so easy. Another private provider and partner of Switched On construction contractors, AA Insurance, has reached a helping hand out to clients whose homes have not yet been officially deemed unsafe - if they feel their homes are unsafe or need urgent repairs, clients were encouraged to contact them for assistance in finding emergency accommodation. All victims with earthquake insurance were urged to contact their providers as soon as possible to inform them of their situation so that claims processing could begin.

Switched On is able to see and provide for both the immediate need and the long-term solution, which equates to effective and efficient results that last. At least in terms of the physical home, stability can be restored with the help of these services. Switched On holds Master Builder, Master Electrician, and Master Painter certifications. Switched On is also a Licensed Building Practitioner, Vero Approved Repairer, Site Safe Member, and maintains the Tertiary level requirements for ACC Workplace Safety, among other qualifications. Each Switched On tradesperson that is assigned to a project holds the right qualification for the job, ensuring that clients can have every confidence in the company’s work.


Partnering with Switched On

Government and private insurers have done a remarkable job of reaching out to affected residents in both cases. Switched On has partnered with insurance providers such as AA and Vero, and are Tier 1 accredited with AMP and Tier 2 accredited with IAG, to provide construction contractors services to victims of such disasters. We empathise with these people who face huge damage to their homes and properties as well as major disruption to their everyday life. We do what we can to help by covering work for these victims, and we are willing and able to start this work at the earliest possible time to help them to repair and rebuild.

By continually improving partnerships within the insurance system and with loss adjusters, we are available to start making repairs on approved claims right away. Switched On is always ready in these cases of emergency to send out our quantity surveyors and project managers to complete construction surveys so that our teams of construction contractors can begin repairs without delay. These quantity surveyors, project managers and construction contractors are trained and prepared to be there through the whole process to ensure efficiency and rapid completion. Partnership means that we can get urgent repairs done faster so that homes, businesses and infrastructure can be restored for all those who have been affected and who want to get their lives back to normal again.


Get in touch about partnering with Switched On today.