More than $85 million in insurance claims after floods

Flooding in Kawatiri Pl, Westport. Photo: Supplied
Flooding in Kawatiri Pl, Westport. Photo: Supplied
Preliminary insurance claims for the Westport flood in July show that 355 vehicles were damaged, and 1297 domestic claims were lodged totalling over $85 million.
Commercial claims numbered 110.

The top of the south and Wellington were also affected with flooding over the weekend of July 16-17, pushing the total to 5207 claims made to date with insurers, with at least $122m for insured losses.

Insurance Council of NZ chief executive Tim Grafton said insurers had met over $85m of losses in a town with a population of 4000.

"Insurance has never been more important. This year severe weather has affected many of our communities, with the impacts of climate change being felt by many, with severe weather becoming more frequent and more severe," Mr Grafton said.

During lockdown, insurers had continued to progress existing claims where restrictions allowed, engaging with those awaiting repairs to be completed to ensure clear expectations are outlined for the remaining work. In some cases, members reported difficulties in securing specific trades or subcontractors, or there had been a delay or longer lead time for certain building materials or household items.

The Westport recovery was also affected by a shortage of accommodation for tradies coming into the region to carry out repairs.

"These aspects are completely out of insurers' hands, but they are doing all they can to support their customers affected by delays or the impacts of Covid-19 on supply chains that may mean a longer recovery for some," Mr Grafton said.

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