$395.3 million of $2.47 bn of 2023 climate claims settled

Note – this is corrected version of the original which overstated the number of claims settled.

Combined claims for the Auckland Anniversary Weekend flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle now stand at 96,586 claims worth $2.47 billion. Insurers have so far paid out over 14,124, 15%, of claims. On 1 April, insurers had put $395 million back into communities.

“While insurers have made a good start on settling claims, it’s important to remain realistic about the rate of settlement from now on,” said Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) Chief Executive, Tim Grafton. “Many motor and contents claims are straightforward to settle, re-lining house can take months, full rebuilds over a year. The most complex claims, typically with land issues, can take longer still. Insurers are in this for the long haul.”

For context, these two climate disasters combined now surpass the 45,000 claims worth $2.27 billion for the Kaikoura earthquake and are worth more than 80% of all general insurance claims paid across Aotearoa New Zealand last year ($3.077 billion).

A good start has been made on settling the more straightforward motor and contents claims. Insurers are also making progress with those homes that had flood water through them and that are now stepping through the strip-out, dry-out, re-line, and re-decoration process.

For the Auckland Anniversary Weekend event, 7,305 claims out of 51,936 (14%) have been fully settled with pay-outs totalling just over $248 million out of an estimated $1.317 billion (19%).

For Cyclone Gabrielle, 6,819 claims out of 44,650 (15.3%) have been settled with pay-outs totalling just over $147 million out of an estimated $1.155 billion (12.7%). Hawke’s Bay now accounts for 14,707 out of 44,650 Gabrielle claims (32.9%), but nearly $593 million out of an estimated $1.155 billion (51.3%) of claims by value.

Insurers are also focused on the more significant, complex and expensive claims which will take longer to settle. “There is typically a small proportion of high value claims that require a lot of work to settle,” added Tim. “These can be complex and time consuming to deal with and it’s important to be transparent with everybody about that. Insurers are in this for the long haul and will stand by their customers until the job is done.”

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