Cyclone Gabrielle, which impacted parts of New Zealand last month, has generated around 40,000 claims so far worth a collective $890 million, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ).
Provisional general insurance claims data for Gabrielle released by ICNZ shows that about $70 million in claims payouts has been made so far by insurers.
“Aotearoa New Zealand’s insurers have so far paid out over $180m in claims across the Auckland Anniversary Weekend and Cyclone Gabrielle climate events,” said ICNZ Chief Executive Tim Grafton.
Home and contents claims total 27,800 worth an initial $453 million and impact of this event on business is also clear with an initial claims value of over $350 million being recorded for related insurance.
The ICNZ also notes that thousands of vehicles have been damaged and written off with claims reaching over 5,000 worth over $73 million.
On a regional basis for Cyclone Gabrielle the most claims were recorded in the Hawke’s Bay area, with 13,000 claims recorded across all general insurance types.
While this is only around a third of all claims, the extent of the damage here means that it also accounts for more than half of the total value of claims to date for Gabrielle at over $481 million.
“Once again, the community response to this second climate-related disaster to hit Aoteraoa this year has been incredible’” said Grafton.
The ICNZ further notes that some affected communities continue to face acute issues around silt, housing and access following the cyclone, despite response efforts having now moved into the recovery phase.
“Insurers are doing all that they can to get assessments completed and to agree next steps with customers,” added Grafton. “In the meantime, insurers have been working hard to activate temporary accommodation benefits for homeowners and renters alike.”
Data and analytics company GlobalData has warned that property insurers in New Zealand will see a severe impact on their profitability due to the massive damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods, with insured losses ultimately expected to cost over $1 billion.
The Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation also confirmed that its cyclone cover had been triggered by Gabrielle, which the country’s prime minister described as “the biggest weather event to hit the country in the past century.”
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