Insurance settlements for earthquake almost complete

Private insurers are on track to meet their target of having the majority of Kaikōura earthquake settlements complete by year-end, the Insurance Council of New Zealand reported this week.

Tim Grafton, Insurance Council Chief Executive said, “We are very pleased with our rate of progress and are on track to have in excess of 75 per cent of all residential properties fully settled by year end.”

Private insurers have fully settled 69 per cent of all residential and commercial claims for the 14 November earthquake, the second largest earthquake with insured losses in New Zealand’s history. Private insurers have received over 44,000 claims, of which over 39,000 are for residential home and contents claims.

“As at 31 October 91 per cent of all residential assessments have been complete with 65 per cent of building claims fully settled and 92 per cent of home contents claims fully settled.  Private insurers have been settling at a rate of about 10 per cent per month so we are confident we will have the majority of claims closed out by the end of the year,” continued Grafton.

The total value of insurance claims for the natural disaster as at 31 October 2017 is over NZ $2 billion with most of the losses in commercial claims at  NZ $1.47 billion, with residential claims amounting to nearly NZ $0.6 billion.

For commercial claims, 80 per cent by number have been fully or partially settled by the end of October. In dollar terms, over NZ $547 million of commercial claims have been partially or fully settled.

“Insurers are acting as agents for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and are managing most of the building and contents claims.  We believe this is the model for future as it has proven to deliver efficiencies for everyone by reducing double handling and speeding up settlements. Treasury is currently reviewing the EQC Act and the new Government has the opportunity to ensure insurers assess and manage all claims in future,” Grafton said.These figures do not include any claims that EQC is managing for the Kaikōura earthquake as well as insurance that has been purchased outside of New Zealand.