The storm that hit New Zealand in early January this year cost private insurers nearly NZ$34.2 million. This is according to figures from the country’s Insurance Council.
More than 4,200 claims were made following the weather event, with 3,086 of these being domestic claims, valuing $19.1 million.
The Insurance Council of New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Tim Grafton, said that the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty regions were particularly badly hit, with the towns of Kaiāua and Thames suffering ‘extensively’. “We went into these towns shortly after the storm passed, along with private insurers, to talk to residents about the help they needed and to listen to their experiences,” he said. “It’s important to us as a sector to get claims resolved quickly so people can get back on their feet and talking to those affected is the first step.”
The financial burden of the storm, he went on to say, shows how important it is to adapt to the pressures of climate change, improving processes and infrastructure so that costs can be minimised: “As time goes on, we expect these sorts of events to become both more frequent and more severe. Every dollar spent on adaptation now will be more than repaid in future savings.”