The recent Canterbury floods from May 29 to June 01 have resulted in 3,538 claims costing over $43.8 million in insured losses, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).
The provisional total consists of 2,327 home and contents claims, 842 commercial and business-related claims, 288 motor claims and 77 crop and other claims (including livestock), statistics released by the ICNZ indicated. Home and commercial claims made up the bulk of insured losses, with $19.4 million and $18.5 million, respectively.
“The figures reflect the vast damage floods leave behind, and how important it is to have insurance to help you get back on your feet when the unexpected happens,” said Tim Grafton, chief executive of ICNZ.
According to Grafton, insurance has an important role in supporting communities manage these risks. However, central and local government play a key role to support our adaptation to our changing climate, taking steps to reduce risks where possible and build more resilient communities. This could mean improving infrastructure such as stormwater systems, not consenting new properties in higher risk areas, as well as building more resilient residential and commercial buildings.
“We’ve said on many occasions that we can expect to see more frequent and disruptive weather events as the effects of climate change increase, and sadly we are starting to see that pattern emerge,” Grafton added.
“It has never been more important to look at how we manage this, and what steps we need to take to control, adapt, avoid and accept the risks they present.”