Insurers have paid out $18 billion to settle commercial and residential claims since the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, according to the latest figures released today by the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).
Of the $18 billion, over $8.6 billion was for domestic claims.
This meant insurers had now fully settled 93% of all Canterbury earthquake properties, representing 21,005 over cap and 63,545 out of scope properties.
Insurers had also settled 94% of commercial claims worth $9.75 billion as at 30 June 2016.
The number of customers who were still to receive offers from their private insurer was down to 340 and there were 453 properties where people had yet to make decisions on the offers they’d received.
ICNZ CEO Tim Grafton was confident the vast majority of claims would be settled by the end of the year.
However, he admitted there was still frustration at the fact insurers were still receiving properties from the Earthquake Commission (EQC) nearly six years down the track.
ICNZ members had had an additional 394 properties transferred from EQC in the last quarter, taking the total to 1,620 for the last 12 months.
Grafton said: “It is extremely frustrating for homeowners and insurers to be receiving so many new property claims nearly six years after the events which stresses the need for changes in the future.”
He stressed the need for changes to the EQC Act
, outlined by ICNZ in its submission to Treasury at the end of last year, to modify the current system of requiring all claims to be lodged and assessed by the EQC.
“Insurers should do all assessments for future natural disasters so that the most damaged properties can be rebuilt or repaired much sooner,” he said.
Based on data jointly collected by ICNZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), 85% (22,317) of all over cap residential claims were resolved or had been fully settled.
Resolved means the repair/rebuild is under construction, in consenting or a building contract has been signed.
A further 11% (2,712) of the 26,147 over cap properties were in resolution, meaning the rebuild/repair was in the pricing and design process or cash settlement was pending.
Insurers had completed 6,114 major repairs and rebuilds and cash settled 14,891 properties to the end of June 2016.
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