After visiting North Canterbury last week, FMG chief operations officer Conrad Wilkshire is predicting the number of insurance claims to be much greater than the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Darfield in September 2010.
Wilkshire said while it was too early to estimate the likely scale of claims, the number of farms with big infrastructure that had been severely compromised made the impact of last week’s earthquake ‘significantly more than Darfield’ , Farmers Weekly
He described his visit to the region as ‘just devastating’ and a ‘dire situation’, and that was without having reached all FMG’s clients yet.
“We don’t have a true picture yet but what we do know is the impact is massive for the farmers that we have seen,” Wilkshire said in the Farmers Weekly
Claims payouts for the Darfield quake totalled $45 million.
“It’s early days and certainly too early to put any figures on claims and dollars but we know we will be looking at significantly more than Darfield,” he said in the Farmers Weekly
The reasons for this, he said, was the much bigger environment the latest earthquake had affected plus the reality that six years on, things were so much more expensive now.
Wilkshire said this was balanced at least by the fact that the industry as a whole was much more experienced and much better equipped to manage and support farmers this time around.
“We have established reliable networks and frameworks which are up and running already,” he said, although he admitted the access issues had hindered those processes somewhat.
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