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Insurers Pay $21 Million For "Weather Bomb"

5 July 2002

Insurers Pay Communities $21 Million For “Weather Bomb”

The Insurance Council has today released figures on the estimated cost of the “weather bomb” storm that hit the North Island of New Zealand last week.

Initial estimates for the industry indicate that $21 million dollars will be paid out by the insurance sector to re-build people’s lives, homes and communities.

The Insurance Council received approximately ten thousand claims from New Zealanders around the North Island, particularly in the Thames Coromandel area. The estimated $21 million dollars is a preliminary figure and the industry believes that over time further claims will be lodged.

Insurance Council Chief Executive, Chris Ryan, says “the industry is proud to have met the claims of insured New Zealanders in their time of need. Individual claims range from relatively small amounts right through to single claims of well over one hundred thousand dollars.”

The Insurance Council has reconfirmed its position that New Zealanders need to be aware of the ongoing risks of natural hazards and in particular, incidents of flooding in many parts of New Zealand.

“The $21 million dollars insurers will pay into the communities of New Zealand is another strong message that insurance is a critical protection for sustainable community and home life”.

The insurance industry is emphasizing the need for local authorities to identify natural hazards and reduce the damage of ongoing flooding and weather related disasters.

Last year members of the Insurance Council paid over a billion dollars to New Zealanders to re-build their communities. The flood in the Thames Coromandel area has been described by the Insurance Council as significant. In 1999 however, Insurance Council members contributed well over fifty million dollars to the flooding of Queenstown.


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