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Kaikoura claims reach $1.84b

21 Jun 2017

Insurance claims for November's 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake have hit $1.84 billion, more than half for damage to Wellington buildings and businesses.

Thousands of Wellington high rise building owners have lodged claims to the tune of $947 million for building damage and loss of income.

The capital's claims are 70 per cent of the 3629 commercial property claims made to private insurers around the country totalling $1.36 billion, Insurance Council figures show.

In addition, another 31,000 claims were made by homeowners throughout New Zealand. The value of those sit at $460m.

In total, damage and loss of income caused by the November quake has totalled $1.84b.

In Wellington, three buildings have been demolished as a result of damage, with two others earmarked for demolition before the end of the year.

Wellington City Council told RNZ last week a total of up to 20 Wellington buildings could be demolished due to quake damage.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said 29 per cent of residential claims had been fully or partially settled, as had 22 per cent of commercial claims.

In total, $295m in commercial claims and $133m in residential claims had been paid out.

"Progress is now moving at a rapid pace, so we have a high level of confidence that most people will have received settlement offers by the end of this year," Grafton said.

"Insurers continue to focus on the most damaged areas and are making pleasing assessment progress in the Upper South Island."

Grafton said the total economic loss, including uninsured and insured loss, of the quake was between $4b and $5b.

By comparison, the total economic loss of Canterbury quakes was about $45b, he said.

"So in order of magnitude, the Kaikoura quake was probably 10 per cent to 15 per cent that of Canterbury.

"But having said that, Canterbury was ginormous in terms of loss and so if we hadn't had Canterbury, this earthquake on the 14th of November last year, would have been probably New Zealand's most damaging earthquake," he said.

"I can assure you, in New Zealand terms, putting aside Canterbury, it is a very large earthquake."

Grafton expected the number and value of the claims to climb, he said.

"That is always the case … And at the moment, all we are reporting is the value of the claims and the number of claims that we've received, but over time more damage is identified and that figure grows."

Most of the residential building and contents claims were being managed by private insurers acting as agents for the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

These claims and costs do not include any land claims, or house and contents claims, that EQC is managing for the Kaikoura earthquake. It also excludes insurance that has been purchased offshore.


Total claims (commercial and residential): 43,000
Total value of claims (commercial and residential): $1.8 billion
Commercial property claims: 3629
Commercial property claims value: $1.36 billion
Commercial property claims (material damage): 2972
Commercial property claims value (material damage): $1.18 billion
Commercial property claims (business interruption): 3629
Commercial property claims value (business interruption): $1.36 billion
Residential property claims: 31,000
Residential property claims value: $460 million

Wellington region (Wellington, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Porirua and Kapiti):
Commercial property claims: 1170
Commercial property claims value: $947 million

Upper South Island:
Commercial property claims: 1741
Commercial property claims value: $297 million

Commercial property claims: 276
Commercial property claims value: $83.8 million

 - Stuff

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