The tornado that struck the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe on June 19 is the most expensive ever in terms of insured losses, according to preliminary figures released by the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).
ICNZ data showed that insurers have paid out $32.028 million in claims so far. Among these claims, 1,206 were for house and contents, 282 for motor, 128 for commercial and material damage, and 11 for business interruption. Two marine claims and 12 in the “other” category brought the total to 1,641 claims.
“This makes the tornado the costliest on record,” said Tim Grafton, chief executive of ICNZ. “Significantly, we can see the impact on residential customers, with $24 million of the total paid in residential and contents insured losses, reinforcing how important insurance is to support your recovery when these sudden events happen.”
According to ICNZ, insurers quickly responded to help customers secure their property, helping them make safe repairs and getting assessors on the ground to review the damage and get the claims lodgement and recovery process underway.
“Part of the response was to assess the severity of damage, with priority placed on repairing things that enabled customers to return home, like roofs, while garages or fences could wait,” Grafton said.
A number of insurers have experienced knock-on delays of a very active building market and supply delays caused by ongoing COVID impacts.
“Our members have reported that securing some tradies or subcontractors to carry out the work has been impacted, or that they have seen a delay or longer lead time for certain building materials,” Grafton said.
“These aspects are completely out of insurers’ hands, but they are doing all they can to support their customers affected by delays that may mean a longer recovery for some.”