Preliminary figures released today by the Insurance Council of New Zealand reaffirm the extent of damage the July Northland floods left behind, with $37m paid to date by insurers to support their customers’ recovery.

Tim Grafton, CE Insurance Council of New Zealand, says the flood is another reminder of the damage unforeseen events can leave behind and the importance of having insurance in place to support your recovery.

“The costs to recover from this event have already exceeded those of the February Southland floods that saw a state of emergency declared for Southland, Fiordland and Clutha.

“With severe weather predicated to become more frequent due to climate change, it is critical that we learn from these events and use them to inform ways to mitigate the risks they present so we can improve the resilience of our communities,” he said.

For the first time private insurers were able to manage some claims for land damage on behalf of EQC. This meant that customers who suffered damage to their residential home, and had silt or debris covering their land, were able to lodge and have their claim managed by their private insurer.

“This helped to ensure the claims process was easy and efficient. Many customers were able to have their claim resolved through their insurer as a single point of contact, enabling them to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Mr Grafton.

EQC’s Chief Readiness Officer Josh Lindsay said the partnership had proven to be successful. “Bringing EQC and private insurers together provided a streamlined customer service experience for the people of Northland. We will continue to work closely to build on this for future events.”

To date the flood has resulted in more than 2,500 house and contents claims, more than 360 commercial or business-related claims and a further 360 claims for damage to motor vehicles. EQC has received 306 land claims to date.

Note: EQC covers storm and flood damage to residential land within 8 meters of a residence, with home and contents damage covered by private insurance according to the terms of an individual’s policy.

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