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Winter storm damage tips NZ into record year

Several days of bad weather in July left insurers with a $NZ31 million ($27.92 million) damage bill, and made this the most expensive year for weather events, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

Nationwide snow, rain and wind on July 12-14 cost insurers $NZ10.3 million ($9.27 million), followed by flooding from July 20-22, costing $NZ20.9 million ($18.82 million).

CEO Tim Grafton says, in terms of costs, this year has surpassed 1968 – year of the Wahine shipping disaster and associated storms. Provisional data shows nearly 3600 house and contents claims costing more than $NZ16 million ($14.41 million), 843 commercial claims at $NZ11 million ($9.9 million) and 426 motor vehicle claims at $NZ2.7 million ($2.43 million).

Meanwhile, Vero customers who suffered severe flood damage in Edgecumbe in April began returning to their homes last week.

Vero received more than 1000 claims across New Zealand due to Cyclone Debbie, at a cost of $NZ20 million ($18.01 million), including about 130 claims in Edgecumbe.

It has paid about $NZ7 million ($6.3 million) in Edgecumbe claims.

EGM Claims Jimmy Higgins says Vero is confident all its customers will return to their homes before Christmas.

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