AMI, State and NZI calls on new government to prioritise flood resilience

The call comes as insurance payouts due to recent storms reach more than $1 billion

AMI, State and NZI calls on new government to prioritise flood resilience

Catastrophe & Flood

By Abigail Adriatico

AMI, State and NZI called on the new government to make flood resilience a priority following the latest release of its Wild Weather Tracker, a six-monthly analysis of weather-related insurance claims data.

“For over a decade, we have been clear that New Zealand needs to take urgent action to keep people safe from the impacts of natural hazards and climate change,” said Amanda Whiting, CEO of AMI, State and NZI. “If we continue along this path, and do not act with urgency, New Zealanders will continue to be exposed to harm.”

Prioritising flood resiliency

The tracker found that there had been 51,000 insurance claims for the North Island floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, which amounted to more than $1 billion. There had already been 99% of motor claims, 97% of contents claims, and 93% of home claims that had been settled.

Across New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay, the West Coast, and Gisborne Tairāwhiti were the top-ranking regions for weather-related claim costs with payouts amounting to $35,000, $30,000, and $21,000, respectively.

“It is also becoming evident to government and communities that a failure to reduce these risks may impact the long-term availability and affordability of insurance in some communities,” said Whiting. “We need to ensure that we work together to prevent future storms having the same impact. There is some good work underway, and we have been pleased to contribute to working groups on natural hazard risk reduction, climate change adaptation, managed retreat, and of course, the ongoing work with the Cyclone Recovery Taskforce.”

Whiting asserted that the new government should prioritise building flood resilience as it was critical for the safety of people.

“We believe that the best way to keep insurance available and affordable is by reducing natural hazard risk through good planning decisions, investment in protection and resilience measures, and where necessary, through relocating people away from at-risk properties,” she said.

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