Rural insurer FMG has resolved 80% of claims and paid out more than $228 million in response to Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods.
The two events are the biggest disasters FMG has faced in its 118-year history and resulted in more claims than from the Kaikōura and Canterbury earthquakes combined.
It received 11,622 claims in all.
FMG’s recovery manager, Jacqui McIntosh, said learning from the past and the company’s rural expertise have helped them to get money to impacted communities faster than before.
“With a high number of impacted members on the east coast, we knew we needed to move quickly, and move people around the business to increase the number of our people on the phones.
“The claims rolled in exponentially and we quickly saw the impacts these events had on our clients, their homes, businesses, and livelihoods. These are the type of claims that are all consuming for all involved.”
Most claims related to homes (2668) and farm buildings (2235). Others were for vehicles destroyed by flood waters, crops lost to silt, businesses interrupted, stock lost and farm fences destroyed.
“Every FMG client with an open flood- or cyclone-related claim from earlier this year has an assigned FMG consultant to work with. It’s amazing what is learnt in the process of navigating some of these claims. Our people know their businesses, their families, their pets and properties. It becomes very personal.”
McIntosh said FMG still has claims to settle and acknowledged the sometimes challenging processes to fully understand the damage sustained, the value of property and if it can be repaired or replaced.
“We still have clients facing uncertainty around the future of their homes and businesses. It is important that time is taken to make sure we all understand the future risks to people and property.”