More than 4,200 claims and close to $34.2 million (US$23.4 million) in cost to private insurers has been announced by the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) as a result of the storm that hit in early January, sparking evacuations and power cuts.
ICNZ Chief Executive, Tim Grafton said, “The storm of early January caused heavy flooding and substantial damage to the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty regions.”
“In particular, the towns of Kaiāua and Thames suffered extensively. We went into these towns shortly after the storm passed, along with private insurers, to talk to residents about the help they needed and to listen to their experiences. It’s important to us as a sector to get claims resolved quickly so people can get back on their feet and talking to those affected is the first step.”
“The cost of this storm demonstrates the importance of adapting to climate change and putting processes and infrastructure improvements in place that minimise the costs and impacts of these events. As time goes on, we expect these sorts of events to become both more frequent and more severe. Every dollar spent on adaptation now will be more than repaid in future savings.” concluded Grafton.