$203.9 million worth of insurance claims have been racked up this year as a result of extreme weather, according to new figures. With no official figures in for May or June, the country looks well set to smash last year’s annual record of $243 million within the first half of the year.
New Zealand has been battered by cyclones, storms and floods throughout the year, and the events have proven significantly more costly than previously thought.
Ex-Cyclone Fehi brought strong gales and high tides to the West Coast with insurers paying out a total of $45.9 million, over half of which has been for house and contents damage.
Cyclone Gita hit soon after with a state of emergency being declared in February. The final cost has been placed at $35.5 million, with just under 5000 separate claims being lodged.
The nationwide April storm and Rotorua flooding saw torrential rain destroy dozens of homes, and has caused $16 million worth of damage.According to ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton, it is now more vital than ever that insurance cover remains accessible to New Zealanders.
“Insurers provide a lot of support into local communities in the wake of natural disasters and severe weather events,” said Grafton. “They get in there, boots on the ground, and assess damage and risk, liaise with local councils and speak to community members about their policies and claims processes to help them get back on their feet sooner.”
“These events are frequent reminders of the impacts climate change are having on our country,” he said “By addressing these risks and doing something about them now, we can help keep insurance accessible for the everyday New Zealanders it benefits the most.”
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