Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The latest assessment of the claim situation in Canterbury - Insurance Council

The Insurance Council of New Zealand has just released its latest assessment of the claim situation in Canterbury. It makes interesting reading with a total of $13.9 billion paid out by private insurers to the end of December 2014. This comprises of $5.7 billion in domestic claims and $8.2 billion in commercial claims. This is in the context of a total rebuild cost of $40 billion, of which the insurance industry will cover around $32 billion ($20 billion being from private insurers and $12 billion from EQC).

Of particular significance is the number of total over capped domestic claims (claims on housing damage of over $100,000 per house) now totalling 23,925. We have for some time been saying that the total over capped quantum of housing will be close to 25,000 and we are getting close. When that 23,925 figure is broken down 57% of the over capped claims have been settled. Interestingly of that 57% 10,676 have been cash settled and 2,890 have had the construction completed.

It is interesting to note that 45% of the claims settled have been cash settled which puts a lot of money into the hands of the insured party and gives them the responsibility for rebuilding or repairing their house. The Insurance Council tell us that there will be more over capped settlements occurring in 2015 and that they are confident that the majority of over capped claims will be fully settled by the end of 2016 target. 

As with all things insurance there will be a small but long tail, particularly involving multi-unit buildings, retaining walls and land issues. But it is clear that for the majority of insured that insurance blockages are no longer a constraint in the context of the rebuild.

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