IAG issues six-month update on weather-related claims

New report sheds light on the impact of climate change witnessed by Kiwis first-hand

IAG issues six-month update on weather-related claims

Catastrophe & Flood

By Kenneth Araullo

In its latest Wild Weather Tracker report for November 2023, IAG laid out insurance data for weather-related claims during the six months between March and August across all its brands. These include AMI, State, NZI, NAC, Lumley and Lantern, as well as general insurance products of BNZ, ASB, Westpac, and the Co-operative Bank.

Over the past six months, IAG observed a significant decrease in weather-related claims, with figures showing a 55% reduction compared to the same timeframe last year. This decrease in claims is attributed to the country moving away from the La Niña weather pattern, which brought tropical storms, and transitioning into the drier and hotter conditions of El Niño.

Despite the drop in overall claims, the recent data indicates that the country is not completely free from weather-related risks. The possibility of wildfires and drought conditions, especially in rural areas, remains a concern. Experts suggest that while these conditions may lead to a decrease in the number of insurance claims and lessen property damage, their impact could still be substantial.

During the last six months, the insurer recorded 11 significant storms, mirroring the count from the corresponding period in the previous year. However, the total number of severe weather-related claims dropped to 6,183, a sharp decrease from the 13,587 claims filed during the same period in the prior year.

Auckland emerged as the most affected region, accounting for 42% of all weather-related claims. Following Auckland were Canterbury and the Waikato region, at 9% and 8.4% respectively. The majority of these claims were for house policies, which constituted 62% of the total, while contents and motor vehicles followed at 13% and 12% respectively.

The data also highlights that while house policies were predominantly affected by weather-related issues, other areas such as contents, motor vehicles, and commercial policies also registered claims. This diverse spread of claims underscores the varied impact of weather conditions on different aspects of property and possessions.

IAG also noted that for the North Island floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, the firm has already paid out more than $1 billion for the 51,000 claims received. As of mid-November, 99% of all motor claims had been settled, 97% for all contents, while house claims stood at 93%.

“New Zealanders are well-known for a ‘can-do’ attitude. I have confidence that managing our natural hazard risks will be no different. As a country, we are fortunate to have highly skilled experts and much goodwill to work together on a solution,” AMI, State, and NZI Insurance chief executive Amanda Whiting said.

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