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Big insurance bill for April cyclones

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/06/2017

Cyclones Debbie and Cook hit the insurance industry hard, with more than $84 million in claims received from the April disasters.

The Insurance Council reported on Monday that the devastating floods brought by Cyclone Debbie from April 3 to 7 cost insurers $66.4m and the cost of Cyclone Cook between April 13 and 16 ran to $18m.

For Debbie, there were more than 4600 house and contents, commercial, marine, car and crops claims, and just over 8000 for Cook.

The total cost for all weather events in 2017 so far is $135.5m.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton says it has been one of the most damaging years for insurers and we're only in June.

Regular bad weather in New Zealand highlighted the need for insurance, but the government should not increase fire and earthquake levies otherwise people will choose not to insure, he said.

Meanwhile, the Earthquake Commission is saying it's not too late to make a claim from the April flooding.

"If your land has suffered landslip, flood damage or silt inundation, and you have fire insurance for home or contents, then you can make a claim with EQC within three months of when the damage occurred," says EQC spokesman Paul Walsh.

EQC and insurance companies can each cover different aspects of your home, contents and land, but it will depend on each individual homeowners' policy, Mr Walsh said.

"Our contractors are focusing on clearing silt and debris that have inundated properties [in Edgecumbe], or that has got underneath houses, so they can be dried out and repaired by the private insurer where required."

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