Tower reflects on Auckland anniversary weekend floods and cyclone Gabrielle impact

Executive reflects on company's response to significant weather events

Tower reflects on Auckland anniversary weekend floods and cyclone Gabrielle impact

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

Tower Insurance has provided an update on the aftermath of two significant weather events in New Zealand: the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

These incidents are noted as among the most challenging weather-related events in recent memory, affecting a vast number of Tower's clients.

The insurer reported receiving over 9,400 claims due to these events, with a whopping 91% of these claims already settled by Jan. 24. The unresolved claims are noted for their complexity, involving aspects such as the Earthquake Commission (EQC) involvement or implications from council buy-out schemes.

Response to extreme weather events

Reflecting on the response to these events, Tower CEO Blair Turnbull emphasised the commitment and efforts of the company's staff in addressing customer needs and claims.

“We have good people at Tower, and they are driven to do what's right for our customers,” he said. “I'm incredibly proud of the way our business responded to these events. That being said, I know we haven't always got things right. As a team, we are continuously learning and improving our processes, whether it's customer service – ensuring we contact all customers in a timely manner, our digital offering or, how we structure insurance in the future.”

A significant part of Tower's strategy involves making insurance solutions both accessible and financially viable, alongside addressing the broader challenges posed by climate change and infrastructure vulnerabilities. This strategy includes fostering greater collaboration among businesses, central government, and local councils to share data and strategies, thereby accelerating progress.

Additionally, Tower's adoption of risk-based pricing and flood and earthquake risk ratings aims to better inform communities about the risks they face.

“Overall, the events of 2023 are a reminder of the importance insurance plays in our economic, community, and personal resilience. I'm incredibly proud of the effort our teams put in this year, and we're continuing to work as hard as possible to help our customers and communities recover,” Turnbull said.

Despite the recent challenges faced by New Zealand, Tower Limited reported a significant improvement in its trading performance over four months.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!