The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has today issued updated figures for weather-related losses during 2019,
with insurers paying $167.6 million to support their customers recover from severe weather events.
The figures follow finalising claims for the 20 November Timaru hailstorm, which increased from $83 million to $130.75
million, and the 18 November Christchurch Tornado which increased to $4.04 million. The Timaru hailstorm now stands out
as the second most costly weather event this century.
"The figures reflect the true cost of weather events and the vital role insurance plays in supporting communities," says
Tim Grafton, CE ICNZ. "While the Timaru hailstorm lasted minutes, the destructive nature of the event was felt by
thousands of locals. Insurance support for people equates to more than $2,700 for every man, woman and child that live
in the city."
Mr Grafton says this reiterates the important role of insurance to help in the wake of a natural disaster or weather
"Events like the Timaru hailstorm show us how quickly costs can escalate. The updated figures make it the second most
costly weather event since 2000, sitting just behind the 2004 Lower North Island Storms at $148.3 million - which was
for a much larger region.
"The very nature and impact of the hailstorm shows why it is so important that Kiwis have the support insurance provides
to help get them back on their feet when the unforeseen happens."
Mr Grafton says this has been a core focus for ICNZ‘s members in their response to COVID-19, with a range of measures
implemented to help customers facing financial hardship keep insurance cover in place.
2019 insured loses (-preliminary figure)
District fires 5-23 Feb - $3.9 m
wind 26-27 March - $4.09 m
and Auckland Storms 10-13 August - $7.8 m
Tornado 18 November - $4.04 m
hailstorm 20 November - $130.7 m
storm including Southern Lakes flooding 3-18 Dec - $17 m-