The April storm that ravaged the country and cut power for days for thousands of Aucklanders is the most expensive so far this year, costing more than cyclones Gita and Fehi combined.
According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ), it has cost insurers more than $72 million, resulting in over 13,000 claims.
“Last year was the most expensive year on record for severe weather events with $243 million in insured losses,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said. “This storm brings the total for this year to $173.1 million and we are only in May and still have the late-April floods to calculate - so it is not hard to imagine this year being another big one.”
With more and more extreme weather events being felt by the country, the ICNZ said it welcomes the release of the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group’s recommendations Adapting to Climate Change in New Zealand.
“Every dollar spent on adaptation now will be more than repaid in future savings,” Grafton said. “The longer we wait to adapt, the more it will cost us - and if we fail to adapt altogether it will cost us the most.”
The April nationwide storm is now the fifth biggest storm of this century. Data from the ICNZ shows it cost insurers $72,110,265, across 13,327 claims, with the majority arising from homes and content claims.
ICNZ’s detailed list of the five biggest storms of the century is as follows:
1. 15-16 February 2004 Lower North Island Storms $148.3m
2. 3-7 April 2017 Cyclone Debbie $91.5m
3. 11-12 September 2013 Nationwide Storms $77.1m
4. 10-12 July 2007 Far North/Auckland/Coromandel $72.7m
5. 10-11 April 2018 Nationwide storms $72.1m