Cyclone taskforce reveals categories for flood-prone properties

"There's no one-size-fits-all approach"

Cyclone taskforce reveals categories for flood-prone properties

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Cyclone taskforce minister Grant Robertson has outlined three categories for properties in areas that were hit by the severe weather events earlier this year. The update is part of the taskforce’s ongoing efforts with insurance companies and local councils to assess areas at risk of floods and decide how future rebuilds will advance.

Robertson said that while work on the assessment has been progressing well, it is more advanced in some regions than others.

Here are the three categories under which the future of flood and landslide affected properties will be assessed, as outlined in the news release:

  • Low-risk – properties may be repaired to its previous state, and that is all that is required to manage future weather risks.
  • Managed risk – community or property-level interventions are needed in order to manage future weather risks. These could include the raising of nearby stop banks, improving drainage, or raising the property.
  • High risk – properties are not safe to live in because of the risk of future flooding and loss of life. Rebuilds in these areas are not possible.

“We recognise the need to provide certainty as soon as possible to individuals in affected areas,” Robertson said. “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach - each area is unique and influenced by a number of different factors, which is why we are taking the time to get this right.”

Decisions on some properties will take longer

Robertson said that communities will be consulted before any final decisions and categorisations are made. These are expected to begin as soon as assessments and quality assurance are completed.

“The government’s intention is to complete assessments for low risk properties in Category One quickly so people in those homes can settle with their insurance companies and get on with their recovery. Decisions on properties in Categories Two and Three will take a bit longer – but will be completed as soon as they are possible,” Robertson said.

Addressing the stress that residents waiting on answers may have, Robertson said that the taskforce is doing all that it can to move through the process as quickly and as effectively as it can.

“The worse thing would be for us to announce a property or community was in one category, only to change that shortly thereafter. We need to make the right decision, not the quick one,” he said.

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