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PERILS updates industry loss estimate for New Zealand floods to NZ $1.995bn

3rd August 2023 - Author: Kane Wells

Zurich-based catastrophe insurance data provider PERILS AG has released its third industry loss estimate for the late January floods across the North Island of New Zealand, pegging the total at NZ $1.995 billion.

perils-ag-logoAccording to PERILS, the updated industry loss figure is based on detailed loss data by postcode and property line of business collected from the majority of the New Zealand insurance market.

This NZ $1.995 billion figure compares to NZ $1.65 billion issued by PERILS in its first loss report six weeks after the event, and NZ $1.75 billion issued by PERILS three months after the event.

PERILS states that the figure is composed of personal lines property losses which represent 69% and commercial lines property losses which represent 31% of the total industry loss.

Outlining the event, the catastrophe insurance data provider said that from 27 January to 2 February 2023, extreme rainfall caused severe inundation across the greater Auckland Region and surrounding areas on the North Island of New Zealand.

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“The event was fuelled by extraordinarily warm and humid weather throughout the New Zealand summer which culminated in record-breaking rainstorms,” PERILS explained.

The firm continued, “These caused intense pluvial, fluvial and sewage flooding which affected a large number of properties and severely impacted vital infrastructure in and around Auckland. Four people died in the event and several thousands were evacuated, following a rare red-alert state of emergency declaration.”

Darryl Pidcock, Head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, commented, “This is the first time we are able to provide a detailed industry loss footprint at postcode resolution for a New Zealand Cat event.

“We believe this dataset is quite unique and together with data on sums insured and rainfall accumulation at identical resolution, it provides a wealth of insight into the event. Understanding Cat risk requires reliable benchmark data, and this is what we aim to deliver through our industry loss footprints.”

He added, “The New Zealand insurance industry continues to allocate considerable resources to managing the high volume of claims from this event, as well as complex cases relating to landslide-related damage and some overlap with Cyclone Gabrielle in certain regions.

“We would like to thank our insurance partners for making available such detailed loss data during such challenging times.”

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