Data from the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) reveals that insurers face an estimated loss of $3.18 billion from claims arising from the impacts of the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods and Cyclone Gabrielle in February. So far, $1.08 billion of the total insured loss has been paid out.
Showing just how damaging and costly these events were, the country’s general insurance sector incurred total claims of $3.08 billion in 2022, and claims for 2016’s Kaikoura earthquake totalled $2.27 billion.
So far, claims received for the Auckland floods stand at 55,433, while the count for Cyclone Gabrielle stands at 52,136.
To date, claims paid for the Auckland flooding totals almost $599 million, and roughly $479 million for Gabrielle.
Tim Grafton, ICNZ Chief Executive, commented, “While we are pleased that good progress is being made, with 35% of claims already fully settled (34% by $ value), we said in February that many of the more complex, claims would take many months, and some over a year or more, to complete.”
In addition to having paid out over $1bn in claims, insurers have bought in hundreds of extra staff since these events. They have been working hard with councils, in communities and with individual customers to help them rebuild.
Grafton added, “There is much yet to be done. For some customers, there is a long road ahead while they work through the categorisation process with their council. Insurers are committed to standing by their customers until all claims are settled.”
Clients with residential insurance can get free, independent and expert advice on their claim from the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service.
The Fair Insurance Code binds all ICNZ members. This includes recourse to free and independent ombudsman services should an insurer’s internal complaints procedures prove unsatisfactory outcomes for customers.
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