NZ insurers work through twin catastrophe claims   – Insurance News

The Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) says claims from this year’s twin disasters of the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle now total $NZ3.5 billion ($3.22 billion), and insurers have already paid out more than $NZ2 billion ($1.84 billion). 

There have been 112,812 claims, and insurers have paid out about 64% of claims by volume and around 59% by value. 

Auckland’s Anniversary Weekend floods began on January 27, with flash-flooding hitting many suburbs, while Cyclone Gabrielle devastated parts of the North Island two weeks later. 

“Good progress continues to be made on settling claims, especially when compared to prior large-scale disasters,” ICNZ CEO Tim Grafton said. 

By value, around 96% of motor claims have been paid plus 84 of contents claims. Business claims are more complex to work through, with around 46% of claims settled. 

Some 61% of house claims have been paid out of estimated total claims worth around $NZ1.6 billion ($1.47 billion) across the two events. 

“There are many complex and high value claims still to be settled,” ICNZ said. 

“Insurers have learned many lessons in dealing with more than a year’s worth of claims by value arising over the space of around 15 days earlier in the year.  

“It was difficult for all involved in the early days, but insurers moved fast to bring in extra resources, some from overseas, and to put longer term plans in place to deal with claims. As a result, many hundreds of extra staff have been deployed.” 

In addition to the two catastrophes, extreme weather in the North Island from February 21-28 (2801 claims) and again over May 9-10 (3822 claims) bring the total for climate related claims this year to 119,435 worth about $NZ3.563 billion ($3.276 billion). 

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