News Non-Life16 Feb 2018

New Zealand:Insurers settle record number of extreme event claims in 2017

| 16 Feb 2018

Insurers settled 70,000 claims arising from extreme events in 2017, including claims arising from the Kaikoura earthquake, extreme weather events and residual Canterbury claims.

“2017 was a year that tested the insurance sector’s ability to meet people’s needs at some of the most stressful times in their lives,” said Insurance Council Chief Executive, Tim Grafton. “Extreme events such as these create large numbers of claims simultaneously, which really puts pressure on insurers. They need to quickly get resources into regions with heavy losses so people get back on their feet again.”

In 2017, insurers settled or partially settled:

  • 39,000 claims from the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake (87% of the total claims received)
  • 25,500 claims from extreme weather events around the country
  • 2,070 severely damaged homes from the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquakes.

“The Canterbury stats are especially important, as insurers continued to receive over-cap claims from EQC. Almost 800 claims were transferred in the year to 31 December,” said Mr Grafton. “The private insurance sector has proven its ability to be effective first respondents to these sorts of events, managing and settling claims quickly and effectively. We believe this is the model for the future.”

The total settlement cost for these events in 2017 was NZ$2.55 billion (US$1.88 billion), equivalent to paying out almost NZ$7 million every day.

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