“In a time of rapidly rising costs, insurers were once again on hand to put things right for thousands of New Zealanders,” said ICNZ Chief Executive, Tim Grafton. "Major events such as this should serve as a reminder for people to check their insurance is up to date and that they are adequately covered.”
While a detailed geographic breakdown of claims by affected regions is not available, claims were recorded from Northland down to the Buller District. Claims arose from a mix of flood and storm damage and included 6,768 home and contents claims, 1,237 for commercial material damage, 636 for motor vehicles and 47 marine claims.
Last year saw a new record set for general insurance pay-outs following extreme weather events at NZ$324.1 million. However, as ICNZ only collects data for general insurance pay-outs, this does not include losses that are under or un-insured. The cost of running evacuations, cleaning up after slips and washouts and repairing road and other infrastructure is not captured by ICNZ. Nor is much of the damage to farmland and crops or wider social and environmental costs. The total economic cost of such events will be significantly more than that recorded by ICNZ.
More needs to be done to reduce risks to homes
“We know from what we are seeing across Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and the world, that climate-driven extreme weather events are becoming both more frequent and severe," added Grafton. "Action is needed on two fronts to help maintain Aotearoa’s world-leading levels of all-risks insurance uptake.
“One is that emissions need to be cut to limit how bad things get and how fast. At the same time, much more needs to be done to reduce the risks to our homes, businesses and communities. This means investing to make them more resilient, for instance by looking at floor levels, construction techniques and not building in flood prone areas, as well as investing in community scale works to protect infrastructure and prevent widespread flooding."