2023 climate disaster payouts top $1 billion

Insurers have so far paid out $1.08 bn of an estimated $3.18 bn over 107,569 claims arising from the twin climate disasters of the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

For context, the general insurance sector incurred total claims of $3.08 bn in 2022 while claims for 2016’s Kaikoura earthquake totalled $2.27 bn.

“While we are pleased that good progress is being made, with 35% of claims already fully settled (34% by $ value), we said in February that many of the more complex, claims would take many months, and some over a year or more, to complete,” said Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) Chief Executive, Tim Grafton.

Insurers are committed to supporting their customers on their recovery journeys. In addition to having paid out over $1bn, insurers have bought in hundreds of extra staff since these events and have been working hard with councils, in communities and with individual customers to help them get back on their feet.

“There is much yet to be done. For some customers there is a long road ahead while they work through the categorisation process with their council. Insurers are committed to standing by their customers until all claims are settled,“ added Tim.

Those with residential insurance can get free, independent and expert advice on their claim from the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service. This is an excellent way to help understand if a claim is proceeding properly and to get any help and advice that’s needed to minimise disputes.

All ICNZ members are bound by the Fair Insurance Code. This includes recourse to free and independent ombudsman services should an insurer’s internal complaints procedures prove unsatisfactory outcomes for customers. 

Contact/Tukua ki:  [email protected]


Auckland Anniversary

Cyclone Gabrielle

Total both events


Claims Received




Claims Settled



37,326 (35%)





Claims open*




Claims paid to date



$1,077,910,313 (34%)





Estimated cost




*Open claims include partially settled

ICNZ_Landscape White Small
©Insurance Council of New Zealand | Te Kahui Inihua o Aotearoa Privacy policy