Insurers reveal extreme weather loss total for 2018

Insurers reveal extreme weather loss total for 2018 | Insurance Business

Insurers reveal extreme weather loss total for 2018

Insurers have spent more than $226.4 million in settling claims arising from extreme weather events in 2018, according to data from the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).

This is the second most expensive year for severe weather since 1969, just falling short of 2017’s record of $243 million.

Insurance losses for severe weather including tornadoes in April alone accounted for $74.4 million. This was on top of the devastating ex-tropical Cyclone Gita ($35.6 million), Cyclone Fehi ($45.9 million) and nationwide severe weather in January ($34.2 million). Insurers settled a total of 33,064 claims, including 24,251 house and contents claims; 6,071 commercial claims; and 2,148 motor claims.

“To have two years in a row in the three most expensive years on record is an indicator of the increasing frequency and intensity of storms in New Zealand,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said. “This is in large part to the impacts of climate change.”

“It’s critical New Zealand adapts to the changing climate. It’s impacting on our communities and it’s impacting on our economy,” he added.

ICNZ noted that adaptation actions can include: improving infrastructure such as stormwater systems; moving properties away from coastal areas and floodplains and not consenting new properties in these areas; and building new residential and commercial buildings to be more resilient to a changing climate. People looking to buy property are urged to do their research and find out how likely the property is to suffer from flooding, high winds and other natural disasters.