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Extreme weather costs $84m

19 Jun 2017

The two cyclones that pounded New Zealand during April and caused residents of Edgecumbe to be evacuated have resulted in insured costs of $84 million the Insurance Council of New Zealand reported today.

The tail end of Cyclone Debbie which passed over New Zealand between 3 and 7 April cost insurers $66.4 million followed closely by Cyclone Cook between 13 and 16 April at $18 million.  This brings the total to date for flood losses for significant weather events for 2017 to $135.5 million.

Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton said “We’re not even half way through 2017 and well on the way to one of the most damaging in recent years for extreme weather events”.

Provisional data released today has nearly 6,400 house and contents claims costing $61.6 million, 1,016 commercial material damage and business interruption claims at $16.8 million and 549 motor vehicle claims costing $4.8 million.

“The weather bombs we’ve had this year highlights the importance insurance plays when disaster strikes.  In towns such as Edgecumbe where there are significant numbers of residents not insured, the Government is sending all the wrong signals by increasing the cost of insurance” he said.

“Major increases in taxes and levies on people who insure their homes could see low income households not able to protect themselves from disasters” he said.

“Hikes in the earthquake and fire service levies means people with house and contents insurance will be taxed over $450 annually without even counting the 15% GST applied to the premium that the insurer charges” he said.

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