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Canterbury quake cost reaches $19 billion

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/11/2016

Insurers have now forked out $19 billion to businesses and residents affected by the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, but six per cent of residential claimants are still awaiting an offer.

The ramp-up in payments means 94 per cent of residential claims, totalling $9b, and 95 per cent of business claims, totalling $9.9b, have been settled as of September.

More than 24,000 businesses and residents had lodged claims in the wake of the September 2010 earthquake, which struck with a 7.1 magnitude, and its 6.3 magnitude aftershock in February 2011.

Critics had earlier attacked the insurance industry for its slow rate of settlement, but Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton said there were now only 352 customers awaiting offers from their insurers.

He said a further 440 properties had received offers but were yet to decide on whether to accept them, while 172 new claims were still being validated.

Mr Grafton said council and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment data showed repair or rebuild work had begun on 23,012, or 87 per cent, of all claims handled by private insurers.

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