Insurance customers through the Canterbury region lodged 3,538 claims costing over $43.8million for insured losses following the 29 May – 1 June floods according to provisional figures released by the Insurance Council of New Zealand – Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa.

“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,” says Tim Grafton, CE ICNZ.

The provisional total includes 2,327 house and contents claims, 288 claims for motor, 842 commercial and business-related claims, and 77 crop and other claims (which can include claims for livestock).

Mr Grafton notes that these floods were the start of what is proving to be a stormy winter for the country.

“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. We only have to cast our minds back to the weekend to the second significant weather event that has left devastating flood and damage behind in Westport and through the Buller District.

“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.”

Mr Grafton says that while insurance plays a vital role to support our communities manage these risks, 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.

WEATHER-RELATED LOSSES for Canterbury Flooding, 29 May- 1 June 2021 (NB: all figures are provisional and are for private insured losses)

Claim typeClaimsInsured losses ($m)
House and contents2,32719,443,530
Business Interruption38746,488
Marine (including Land Transit)428,310
Motor Vehicle2882,138,187
Crops and other1226
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