PERILS estimates final industry loss of NZ $2.174bn from Cyclone Gabrielle

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PERILS, the independent Zurich-domiciled catastrophe insurance data provider, has disclosed its fourth and final insurance industry loss estimate for Cyclone Gabrielle of NZ $2.174 billion.

Cyclone Gabrielle impacted the North Island of New Zealand during the period of 11-17th February 2023. The final estimate compares to the third loss estimate of NZ $2.018 billion issued by PERILS on 17 August 2023, six months after the event.

The estimate includes personal lines property losses which represent 51% and commercial lines property losses represent 49% of the total industry loss.

Together with the North Island Floods, which occurred just before Cyclone Gabrielle, the total insured loss amount from the two events stands at NZ $4.404 billion, by far the largest weather-related insurance industry losses in New Zealand’s history, notes PERILS.

Cyclone Gabrielle impacted a wide area across the North Island with extreme rainfall, with the impact of heavy rains exacerbated by saturated soils from previous wet weather, including the North Island flood event, leading to damage to property and critical infrastructure due to flooding, coastal inundation, landslides and high winds. The event also caused the deaths of eleven people.

The final industry loss footprint is based on detailed loss data collected from the majority of the New Zealand insurance market, provides a comprehensive breakdown of property losses by postcode (high-resolution CRESTA Zones), with the data further divided by residential and commercial lines, and loss amounts split into buildings, contents and business interruption losses where available. It is complemented with postcode-level maximum wind gusts and rain accumulations, explains PERILS.

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