New Zealand – Insurers Expect Auckland Flood Claims to Exceed $1 Billion NZ

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is expecting claims for damages caused by severe flooding and landslides that struck Auckland in late January 2023 to exceed $1 Billion NZD ($620 million USD).

The mayor visited the site where a landslide damaged homes in Shore Road in central Auckland, 29 January 2023. Photo: Mayor of Auckland’s Office

Provisional general insurance claims data for the Auckland Anniversary Weekend flood event were released by the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) on 06 March 2023.

“While it is still early days, around $111 million of insurance support has already been paid into communities as part of what will be a long recovery”, said ICNZ Chief Executive Tim Grafton. In total, around 48,000 claims have been lodged for that event to date and insurers expect to provide over $1bn in supporting people impacted by the flooding between 27 Jan and 2 February 2022.”

The total includes over 36,000 home and contents claims valued at around $565 million, 3,800 commercial claims valued at around $320 million and 7,500 motor claims worth $109 million.

Payments to date concern around 11% of claims. While most claims will be concluded in a matter of months, it’s clear many homes and commercial buildings will require work, and in many cases re-builds, that, even in the best of times, would take many months to over a year to complete, ICNZ said.

In addition, around 30,000 claims have been lodged as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle. An update on insurance support for this is expected later in March.

These two events over the space of 2 weeks have resulted in around twice as many claims as made as a result of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.

“Aotearoa’s insurers have been doing all that they can alongside the heroic response of communities and other agencies to help through both with the immediate response and as we start what will be a long recovery process,” added Tim.

“Insurers are in this for the long haul. These are the worst of times for many of us and it’s important that people seek out any help they need. That can include talking to your insurer, especially if people are displaced from their homes or experiencing vulnerability.”

“As insurers work with their customers to get on with the recovery process, it is clear that massive investment is required to reduce the risks people face. This is about keeping people and communities safe. Insurers are playing their part in the many ongoing discussions and work programmes to promote that,” added Tim.