Suncorp Group has committed to deploying teams that will assist customers affected by flooding across New Zealand’s North Island, including claims management resources from its Australian insurance operations.
Large parts of the North Island and Auckland have been devastated by heavy rain, flash flooding and landslides, with more rain forecasted in the coming days.
As of Monday morning, Suncorp said it has received approximately 3,000 claims across the Vero and AA Insurance brands.
The group is expecting to receive more claims as customers return to their homes and commercial claims are lodged via brokers.
The full extent of the damage caused by the recent floods will take some time to assess, according to Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston.
“We are aware more rain is expected in the following days, and that there are reports of damage beyond Auckland,” he said. “Our thoughts are with our New Zealand customers in these difficult times.”
Johnston also urged customers to lodge their insurance claims only once it is safe to do so, noting that the New Zealand team is “already on the ground” to provide support and assistance in areas affected by the flooding.
Additionally, Johnston said the group is deploying its Australian insurance operations to help “speed up the claims process.”
A comprehensive reinsurance program is in place to provide additional protection for New Zealand losses, which means losses from this latest weather event will be capped at NZ$50 million, net of reinsurance cover, a statement from the group said.
Suncorp, together with GIO, has recently backed a program dedicated to the rehabilitation and support of flood-impacted communities in Australia’s East Coast.
The program, launched by not-for-profit group Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), involves a $500,000 grant to be awarded to local groups dedicated to supporting flood-impacted communities and improving their resilience to natural disasters. Among its recipients is the Resilient Lismore Project, which received $25,000 in funding from the project.