The Insurance Council is urging flood-affected residents to get to safety before getting on the phone to make a claim.
Deluge has torn through several towns and cities in the past few days, forcing trees to fall and homes to flood.
Parts of the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Auckland were hit particularly hard, causing widespread damage.
Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton says carpets are a major concern.
"You can get an awful lot of contaminants into the house, into carpets, and you can get sewage through and stuff like that."
- Huge waves crash onto Wellington coast, thousands still without power
- Flights cancelled, evacuations urged
Mr Grafton says non-essential repairs can be done yourself, but it's best to call the insurer for the main issues - and there are plenty of things you can do to fast-track your repairs.
"Keep all invoices, take pictures of the damage - that will help with the claims process."
But personal safety is paramount, so only reach out when you're certain you are in no danger.
Mr Grafton says properties near the sea are going to be at risk in the future and "increasingly damaged" thanks to rising sea levels.