A tornado and storm that battered upper North Island on June 26 to 27 has caused insured losses of $10.8 million, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).
The severe weather led to widespread damage across the greater Auckland region, with insurers receiving around 1,100 claims, the council said in a statement. To aid with recovery efforts, insurers have handled over 850 domestic house and contents claims and close to 150 commercial and business-related claims.
“Costs to recover from freak storms like this can escalate quickly, just think of the November Timaru hailstorm that reached $130 million,” said Tim Grafton, chief executive of ICNZ.
“Insurance is there to help restore loss after disaster. It is really important that people insure adequately for unexpected events which we can unfortunately expect to happen more frequently due to the growing impacts of climate change in New Zealand,” he added.
In case of property damage due to severe weather, ICNZ urged homeowners to contact their insurer or broker as soon as possible. The council also issued the following reminders for homeowners on how to prepare for a severe weather event.
- If strong winds are forecast, secure large items such as umbrellas and outdoor furniture, turn trampolines upside down, and pack away smaller items that may become airborne
- For heavy rain or floods, take action early – move cars out of flood danger, put valuable goods higher up, raise electrical items and unplug them, and clear blocked gutters and drains before the rain starts
- Make sure emergency kits are well-stocked
- Check on neighbours and friends and make sure any steps taken to help make your properties storm safe don’t put anyone’s personal safety at risk.