Almost a year on and the cost of the Timaru hailstorm, that went through Timaru on 20 November 2019, has increased again, with insured losses now totalling $170 million.

Tim Grafton, CE ICNZ, says the revised figure reflects the true cost of weather events and reiterates the important role of insurance to support the recovery of communities.

“While the Timaru hailstorm lasted minutes, it shows us how quickly costs can escalate. The insurance support now equates to more than $3,800 for every man, woman and child that live in the city.

“The very nature and impact of the storm shows why it is so important that Kiwis have the support that insurance provides to help get them back on their feet when the unforeseen happens.”

The final figure for the weather-related losses has increased $40 million, up from a previously reported total of $130 million in May 2020. The updated figure now makes the storm New Zealand’s most costly weather event this century, now well ahead of the 2004 Lower North island Storms which cost $148.3 million.

Claims for house and contents now total $59.6m, commercial $23.2m, motor $86.2m and crops $1.9m[1].

“The late increase in the number and cost of insured losses is not surprising and can happen with these types of events. Claims for areas which aren’t readily seen, such as roofs, took time to identify and report.

“As expected, while members acted quickly to support customers, the scale of damage caused by this event has taken many months to repair and was unfortunately hampered by both lockdown restrictions and the regions building boom for roof repairs.

House & contents579159,630,067

[1] The final figure for insured losses for crops includes the ‘other’ claims category figures which largely consisted of crop related claims by members.

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