Majority of Kaikōura and Edgecumbe insurance settlements complete by year-end

Private insurers are confident that the majority of Kaikōura earthquake and Edgecumbe flood settlement offers will be complete by year-end the Insurance Council of New Zealand reported today.

Insurance Council of NZ Chief Executive Tim Grafton said “2017 has been a huge year for New Zealand with earthquakes, floods and fires hitting us hard.  Private insurers are committed to 90% of Edgecumbe insured residents being back in their homes by Christmas.”

“We said we would have the majority of Kaikōura earthquake settlement offers made by year end. We are over half way and ahead of expectations” he said.

Nationally, private insurers are 59% settled or partially settled for residential and commercial claims for the 14 November earthquake.

In terms of residential settlements, 53% had been fully or partially settled by end of August compared with 43% in July and 36% in June” he said.

The total value of insurance claims for the 14 November Kaikōura earthquake as at 31 August 2017 is over $2 billion with most of the losses in commercial claims at $1.48 billion, with residential claims amounting to nearly $0.55 billion.

Private insurers have completed 92% of all residential building assessments in the Upper South Island as insurers continue to focus on the most damaged areas.

“We are pleased with our steady rate of progress and continue to have a high level of confidence that the majority of people will have received settlement offers by the end of this year. Seventy seven percent of all residential buildings had been assessed by the end of August compared with 62% in July and 51% in June” he said.

Private insurers have received nearly 44,000 claims, of which nearly 32,000 are for residential properties. Insurers are acting as agents for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and are managing most of the building and contents claims. These claims and costs do not include any claims that EQC is managing for the Kaikōura earthquake nor where insurance has been purchased off-shore.

The Upper South Island is north of the Waimakariri River and takes in Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough districts.

The time between assessment and settlement offer for residential properties is typically between 4 and 12 weeks.

For commercial claims, 76% by number had been fully or partially settled by the end of August, compared with 72% in July and 67% in June. In dollar terms, nearly $420 million of commercial claims have been partially or fully settled.