Private insurers paid out nearly $2.7 billion to settle commercial and residential Canterbury earthquake claims in 2016, according to figures released today by the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).
Of the $2.7 billion, $1.6 billion was for domestic claims and $1.1 billion was commercial claim payments.
ICNZ said private insurers settled 3,860 over cap property claims in 2016 and had 1,258 new over cap claims transferred from EQC.
They completed construction on 1,470 properties and cash settled 2,390 properties last year. Of the 1,470 properties where construction was completed, 907 were rebuilds and 563 were major repairs, ICNZ said.
CEO Tim Grafton said there had been reduction in the number of properties being transferred from EQC, which was something they welcomed.
“A total of 171 properties were transferred to insurers from EQC in the last quarter of 2016, a sharp fall from the 290 the previous quarter.
“The slow-down in over caps coming across from EQC and the settlement progress in 2016 is encouraging.
“However, it will be critical to ensure the response to the Kaikoura earthquakes does not slow down the pace of settlement of the remaining claims as quickly as possible,” he said in a statement today.
“Insurers have now fully settled $19.4 billion, or 86% of over cap residential Canterbury earthquake claims and 95% of all residential property claims. Over 95% of commercial claims have now been settled.”
Based on data jointly collected by ICNZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), 89% (23,685) of all over cap residential claims are resolved or have been fully settled. Resolved means the repair/rebuild is under construction, in consenting or a building contract has been signed. A further 9% (2,283) of the 26,608 over cap claims are in resolution, meaning the rebuild/repair is in the pricing and design process or cash settlement is pending.
Of the properties still to be completed, the number of customers who are still to receive offers from their private insurer is down to 217 and there are 240 properties where people have yet to make decisions on the offers they’ve received, and 183 new claims being validated, ICNZ said.
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