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New Zealand quake could cost insurers US$3.5 bln - AIR Worldwide

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Dec 2016

The recent magnitude 7.8 New Zealand South Island earthquake could end up costing the insurance and reinsurance industry as much as US$3.5 billion, said Artemis citing risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide.
   The risk modeller estimated that the eventual insured loss payout for the 14 November New Zealand earthquake, will range somewhere from NZ$1.15 billion (US$762 million) to as much as NZ$5.3 billion (US$3.5 billion).
   “More than 80,000 landslides and 2,600 aftershocks have been recorded following the massive earthquake that struck New Zealand’s South Island early this week,” explained Dr Bingming Shen-tu, assistant vice president at AIR Worldwide. “The temblor was the largest experienced by the country since the 2009 M7.8 Dusky Sound earthquake and one of the four most powerful since 1855. Recovery efforts in the region have been additionally hampered by gale-force winds, heavy rainfall, and flooded roads.”
   Most of the residential damage will be covered by government-backed insurance from the Earthquake Commission (EQC), which has a US$3.3 billion reinsurance programme in place and is likely to call on it.
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