Rural insurer FMG paid $120 mn in insurance claims relating to Cyclone Gabrielle

Rural insurer Farmers Mutual Group (FMG) has paid out more than $120 million in claims relating to Cyclone Gabrielle. The insurer has settled 43% of the 10,500 claims relating to Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods combined. It still has nearly 6000 claims from the two events to resolve.

FMG has had more claims from Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary floods than the Kaikōura and Canterbury earthquakes combined.

Farmers Mutual Group estimated the total cost of claims for 2023 events would be $273 mn

Claims cover everything from damage to homes and farm buildings, irrigation, agricultural vehicles and animal and crop losses.

FMG said progress was being made on cyclone claims now that the government has categorised properties by future risk.

Rural insurer FMG paid $120 mn in insurance claims relating to Cyclone Gabrielle

They can now work with the council, the government and then also their insurance, and that’s helping us to now be able to progress some of these claims that otherwise would would be sitting in limbo.

Glenn Croasdale, Chief client officer FMG

Councils, like Auckland, were starting to engage with home owners of category two or three properties, which would accelerate the insurance process.

The scale of the damage was unprecedented, with a long road ahead if managed retreat was to be considered.

New Zealand is in a national state of emergency, as Cyclone Gabrielle batters the country, with floods trapping people on roofs, thousands displaced and landslides destroying homes in what officials have described as an “unprecedented” natural disaster.

Cyclone Gabrielle is the most significant weather event New Zealand has seen in this century. The severity and the damage that we are seeing has not been experienced in a generation

Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s prime minister

Flood waters rose to envelop homes and buildings in some areas: in Hawke’s Bay, people sheltered on roofs, with military helicopters unable to reach them in the weather. Landslides around the North Island swept away homes and cut off state highways.

Nataly Kramer   by Nataly Kramer