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NZ July storm insured losses top $117 million

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Insured losses from storms that left a raft of damage across much of New Zealand in July have reached at least $NZ122 million ($117 million).

The severe weather caused flooding at Westport, land slips in the upper South Island, and damage in Wellington and the North Island.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) says 5207 claims have been made to date, including 3790 for home and contents, 590 for motor vehicles and 795 for commercial and business policies.

Westport, a town of about 4000 people, was particularly hard hit by the storms, which crossed the country from July 16-19, with losses of more than $NZ85 million ($82 million).

ICNZ says a very active pre-lockdown building market and ongoing COVID-19 impacts have caused some difficulties in securing specific trades or sub-contractors, while delays or longer lead times have also been reported for certain building materials or household items.

In Westport the recovery is also affected by a shortage of accommodation for tradies coming into the region to carry out work.

“These aspects are completely out of insurers hands, but they are doing all they can to support their customers affected by delays or the impacts of COVID on supply chains that may mean a longer recovery for some,” ICNZ CEO Tim Grafton said.

In other parts of the country, Upper South Island losses have reached $NZ14.7 million ($14.1 million), Wellington losses have reached $NZ15.4 million ($14.8 million) and North Island losses $NZ6.7 million ($6.5 million).