This year’s ‘weather bombs’ cost insurers $84 million

This year’s ‘weather bombs’ cost insurers $84 million | Insurance Business New Zealand

This year’s ‘weather bombs’ cost insurers $84 million

Two cyclones that brought heavy rains and floods in New Zealand in April caused $84 million in insured losses, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).

The remnants of Cyclone Debbie, which passed over the country from April 03-07 cost insurers $66.4 million, while Cyclone Cook which came struck from April 13-16 resulted in $18 million in insured losses – bringing total flood losses for significant weather events for 2017 to $135.5 million.

“We’re not even halfway through 2017 and well on the way to one of the most damaging in recent years for extreme weather events,” said ICNZ chief Tim Grafton.

Nearly 6,400 of the claims were for house and contents, costing $61.6 million; 1,016 for commercial material damage and business interruption, valued at $16.8 million; and 549 for motor vehicle claims, costing $4.8 million, provisional data showed.
The ICNZ chief said the “weather bombs” NZ experienced this year highlights the importance of insurance when disaster strikes.

“In towns such as Edgecumbe where there are significant numbers of residents not insured, the Government is sending all the wrong signals by increasing the cost of insurance,” he said.

“Major increases in taxes and levies on people who insure their homes could see low income households not able to protect themselves from disasters.

“Hikes in the earthquake and fire service levies mean people with house and contents insurance will be taxed over $450 annually without even counting the 15% GST applied to the premium that the insurer charges,” Grafton said.

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