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January South Island severe weather reaches $2.9m in insured losses

25 Feb 2021

Preliminary figures for the severe weather that kicked-off the new year for the lower South Island (2-3 January) has seen insurers pay $2.9m to their customers to help recover for the weather-related losses.  

The weather event saw Metservice issue a severe thunderstorm watch for most of the country, with a specific warning for Otago and Southland including a hail warning for South Canterbury.  ICNZ also issued advice for people to get their cars under cover and their property prepared for approaching bad weather. While the hail didn’t eventuate, there was significant amounts of rain that led to flooding across the region.

To date the majority of claims have been for damage to house and contents with 296 claims received, while commercial material damage claims sit at 89, and motor claims at 73. The figures are expected to be finalised later this year.

Steps people can take to prepare for severe weather and hail include:

  • moving your car under cover to protect from hail stones and flood danger
  • avoiding driving if you can, especially through flood waters
  • securing large items such as umbrellas and outdoor furniture, turn trampolines upside down, and pack away smaller items that may become airborne
  • moving valuables and electrical items to higher ground
  • checking that gutters and drains are clear of debris
  • stocking your emergency kit, and being prepared for power outages
  • checking on neighbours and friends.