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2014’s bad weather costs at $135m – and counting

Severe weather has caused more than $135 million worth of damage so far this year, the Insurance Council of New Zealand says, making it one the most expensive years for insurance payouts.

New insurance industry reports show insurance claims for weather related damage have soared in the first eight months of the year, with the cost around $135.4m. 

Two big storms have driven the damage costs, ICNZ said, with the final bills more expensive than first thought. 

“This year is heading to be one of the most expensive years for insured losses as the final cost of the big Easter storm that hit the West Coast has risen to $55.3m, up from the initial estimate of $45m, and the provisional cost for the storm that lashed Northland, Auckland and the Coromandel in early July is $15.1m,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said.

The Easter storm was the biggest weather event this year with about 10,000 claims and more than $32 million in damage to homes, contents and motor vehicles.

“Homeowners also bore the brunt of the July storm with about $8m of damage to homes and content, which highlights the importance of New Zealand’s generally high levels of insurance uptake to ensure a quick economic recovery at times like these,” Mr Grafton said. 

Last year, insured losses from weather events was $175m, the second most expensive year since 1968, the year of the Wahine disaster.

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2014 Insured Cost of Weather-Related Damage: 

* Feb 23: Canterbury storm = $4.8m

* March 4-5: Canterbury and Lower North Island storm = $22.5m 

* March 15-16: Cyclone Lusi = $3.6m

* April 17: Easter Weekend Storm and Floods = $55.3m

* June 9-11: Severe Weather North and South Islands = $29.8m (provisional)

* June 25: Nelson-Tasman District Wind and Floods = $4.3m (provisional) 

* July 8-11: Severe Weather – Northland-Auckland-Coromandel = $15.1m (provisional)

Total: $135.4m

– NZ Herald/APNZ

– Picture: Leighton Smith

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