Canadian Underwriter

Cost of “supercell” storm in New Zealand almost $5 million

July 7, 2014   by Canadian Underwriter

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The “supercell” storm that hit Canterbury, New Zealand in late February has produced $4.8 million (New Zealand dollars) in insurance payouts, notes information from the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).

The storm brought torrential rain, thunderstorms, lightning, a large hailstorm and reports of tornado damage to parts of Canterbury.

Although provisional results initially put the figure at $3.3 million, ICNZ spokesperson Samson Samasoni notes in a council statement that “the final tally confirms insurers paid out $4.8 million for storm-related damage, which further highlights the vital role insurance plays in helping New Zealanders recover from extreme weather events.”

Of the total, Samasoni says “almost $1.3 million was paid out in domestic claims, a further $1.3 million in commercial and more than 600 motor vehicle claims resulted in $2.2 million of insurance payouts.”

In late April, ICNZ reported insured losses from storms in February and March amounted to $25 million. The most damaging storm was March 4-5, when $21.9 million of damage occurred, ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said at the time.

“While this storm system also hit Wellington and the Hawkes Bay, the brunt of the damage totalling $19.6 million was in Canterbury where there was extensive flooding in Christchurch,” Grafton said.

Most of the damage in Canterbury was to home and contents with $13.4 million in losses followed by damage to commercial property ($2.8 million) and motor vehicles ($2.5 million), he added.

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