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2017 worst year on record for weather-related losses

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) announced today that 2017 has been the most expensive year on record for weather-related losses, with a total insured-losses value of more than $242 million.

“These figures are a clear sign of the impact climate change is having on our country,” said ICNZ Chief Executive, Tim Grafton. “As time goes on, we expect to see more of these sorts of extreme weather events occurring.”

The most expensive event of the year was the remnants of Cyclone Debbie, which struck in early April. That event resulted in 5,470 claims totalling $91.5 million in insured losses. Flooding was also a big contributor to these figures, with insurers paying out $94.6 million across 11,455 claims for flood events.

“Insurers work with central- and local government to help affected communities and address areas of future risk,” said Grafton.

“These extreme weather events highlight the importance of being well-insured,” said Grafton. “When one of these events strikes, insurance helps you get back on your feet. It’s a key part of being resilient and building a resilient country.”

ICNZ data shows house and contents claims made up over half of all insured losses for the year, with a total cost of $154.2 million paid out by insurers. “This shows just how important insurance is for individuals, no matter where they live and what they own.”

The final figures for the July 20-22 flooding in the South Island have come in, pushing total insured losses up from $20.9 million to $31.2 million.

 

Breakdown by event

WEATHER EVENT

DATE

INSURED LOSSES ($m)

Nationwide severe weather

18-23 Jan

8.6

Dunedin flooding

13-Feb

1.7

Port Hills fires

13-17 Feb

18.3

Upper North Island flooding

7-12 Mar

61.7

Cyclone Debbie remnants

3-7 Apr

91.5

Cyclone Cook remnants

13-16 Apr

17.2

Nationwide snow/wind/rain

12-14 Jul

12.5

South Island flooding

20-22 Jul

31.1

 

Breakdown by type of claim

CLAIM TYPE

CLAIMS

INSURED LOSSES ($m)

House & contents

19,664

154.2

Commercial

3,917

71.1

Marine

84

0.78

Motor

1,658

11.4

Crops

0

0

Other

241

5.2

TOTAL

25,564

242.7