Insurance boss: "[This is] why we exist"

Group working through claims as quickly as possible

Insurance boss: "[This is] why we exist"

Catastrophe & Flood

By Terry Gangcuangco

Valentine’s Day surely was far from the minds of Kiwis on Tuesday as New Zealand found itself under a national state of emergency amid the battering of Cyclone Gabrielle. Among those busy responding since the separate weather event in January has been insurance giant IAG NZ, which is working through claims expeditiously.

“We are working our way through the flooding claims as quickly as possible, while also processing claims from those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle,” said chief executive Amanda Whiting (pictured). “As always, our number one focus is supporting our customers and communities through this really tough time.

“Some claims will be settled quickly, if not already, but some will take time as each customer’s situation is unique. But no matter how long it takes, we will be here for our customers.”

According to IAG New Zealand – which consists of AMI, State, and NZI – the group had received more than 21,000 claims for the North Island floods as of 9am on February 14. Broken down, 57% of them are home claims; 21%, contents; 16%, motor vehicle; and 6%, commercial and business.

“It’s why we exist”

Whiting, who previously visited Milford following the massive floods, highlighted the very reason behind insurers’ existence.

“These weather events are what we plan for and what we do – it’s why we exist,” she declared.

The CEO went on to note: “In the last two weeks, we’ve paid out over $23 million in claims.

“The size and scale of these events are something we haven’t seen since the Kaikoura earthquakes. We have pulled in help from right across our business – we currently have 316 teams of builders on the ground stripping out homes, and we are focussed on expediting the claims process and closing claims for our customers as soon as we possibly can.”

As previously reported, “it’s all hands-on deck” for Whiting’s camp, which enjoys the backing of the wider Insurance Australia Group.

She added: “Last week, I visited a few of our customers’ properties. The disruption to people’s lives was hard to see, but I was also heartened to hear the many stories of community resilience and to witness people pitching in to help each other.

“Our team is working extremely hard to support our customers and will continue to do so until every last claim is closed. Please be assured that paying claims and getting New Zealanders back on their feet is what we are here to do.”

According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ), the Kiwi insurance industry has collectively received no less than 40,000 claims as a result of the Auckland Anniversary flooding, while at the same time being ready for further claims from Cyclone Gabrielle.

“While Gabrielle is yet to pass,” stated ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton, “insurers are already prepared with all available staff on hand to get on with accepting claims, prioritising those displaced from their homes or otherwise needing extra care.”

Information about support for those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle can be found here.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!