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New Zealand North Island floods insured loss raised further 12% to NZ $2.23bn: PERILS


The insurance and reinsurance industry loss estimate for the early 2023 severe flooding that affected the Auckland region of the North Island of New Zealand has been raised again by a further 12% to NZ $2.23 billion by data aggregator PERILS.

new-zealand-mapWhen PERILS last updated on the North Island New Zealand floods, it had raised the industry loss estimate by 18% to NZ $1.995 billion.

That was last August and now, in providing its final update of estimated insured catastrophe losses from this event, PERILS has added a further 12%, to take the total to NZ $2.23 billion (around US $1.4bn).

The severe flooding struck the Auckland region of New Zealand between January 27th and February 2nd 2023, as extreme rainfall drove flooding across the greater Auckland Region and surrounding areas on the North Island of New Zealand.

The rainfall event was fuelled by warm and humid weather throughout the summer which ended in record-breaking rainstorms, causing intense pluvial, fluvial and sewage flooding impacting a large number of insured properties.

An atmospheric river event drove the moist and warm air to New Zealand, which collided with strong easterly winds and triggered the heavy convective rainfall over the North Island.

PERILS first reported an initial industry loss estimate for the North Island of New Zealand flooding of NZ $1.65 billion, on March 15th, a few weeks later, PERILS updated the industry loss estimate, raising it just over 6% to NZ $1.76 billion, before updating the total again by 18% to reach NZ $1.995 billion in August 2023.

Then finalising its industry loss estimate at the 12% higher NZ $2.23 billion today. That’s now a 35% increase in the industry loss, from the first estimate to the last.

The split of claims filed has not changed, with PERILS still saying the flood damage insurance claims were 69% from personal lines property losses and 31% from commercial lines property losses.

Christoph Oehy, CEO of PERILS, commented, “The Auckland Floods was the first loss event covered by PERILS for New Zealand. Our series of reports on the event provides a wealth of data to support the industry’s work to better understand the impacts of severe storms and floods in New Zealand. There is of course always more to do to ensure we can continue to deliver value to our partners to better understand the impacts of Cat events. It has been a very challenging year for our insurance partners dealing with the Auckland Floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, two exceptional weather events in quick succession. PERILS thanks them for their ongoing commitment and support, enabling us to make such rich industry loss data available.”

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