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31 Jul 2023

Insurance Council Says a Little over a Third of Claims Have So Far Been Paid Out for The Twin Weather Events Early This Year; Warns Some Claims Could Take Over a Year to Settle

According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ), just over a third of the estimated $3.18 billion in claims has been paid out. ICNZ had previously warned that some claims might take over a year to settle. The $3.18 billion was split evenly between the Auckland Anniversary Weekend flooding in late January and Cyclone Gabrielle in early February, with over 100,000 claims represented.

ICNZ also reports that the general insurance sector in NZ had total claims worth $3.08 billion for the entire year of 2022, while claims for the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake amounted to $2.27 billion.

So far, insurers have paid out $1.08 billion of the estimated $3.18 billion claimed from the two weather events earlier this year.

ICNZ Chief Executive, Tim Grafton, expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the insurance industry. As of July, 35% of claims by number and 34% by value have been settled. He acknowledged that certain, and more complex claims could take many months, with some being over a year or more to fully complete.

According to ICNZ Chief Executive, Tim Grafton, “the insurance industry is pleased that good progress is being made", with 35% of claims by number and 34% by value settled. "...We said in February that many of the more complex, claims would take many months, and some over a year or more, to complete."

Grafton reaffirmed that insurers are committed to supporting their customers in their recovery. This was reflected by the investment insurers have made in “hundreds of extra staff” since both events and their collaboration with local councils and communities, as well as individual customers to ensure progress is made.

According to Grafton, much remains to be done for some customers as they navigate the categorization process with their council, “insurers are committed to standing by their customers until all claims are settled”.

ICNZ states those with residential insurance can access free, independent and expert advice on their claim from the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service. “ "This is an excellent way to help understand if a claim is proceeding properly and to get any help and advice that’s needed to minimise disputes."

 All ICNZ members are legally bound by the Fair Insurance Code. This includes resources for free and independent ombudsman services in the event that an insurer's complaints procedures prove unsatisfactory outcomes for their customers

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