PERILS released final estimate for insurance losses from North Island floods

PERILS, an independent organization based in Zurich, has released its final estimate of NZD 2,230 million for the insurance market losses from the North Island floods in New Zealand, occurring between January 27 and February 2, 2023.

This update surpasses the previous estimate by NZD 235 million, reflecting a detailed analysis of the damages, which are largely divided between personal (69%) and commercial (31%) property losses.

The comprehensive data collection, including high-resolution CRESTA Zones and postcode-level rain accumulation, offers a granular view of the impact.

The Auckland region, with a population of 1.7 million, was notably affected, with significant property and infrastructure damage, leading to evacuations and four fatalities.

PERILS released final estimate for insurance losses from North Island floods in New Zealand

Christoph Oehy, CEO of PERILS, emphasized the importance of this data in understanding and managing the risks of severe weather events, acknowledging the challenges faced by insurance partners, especially with the consecutive occurrences of the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

This final industry loss footprint, which is based on detailed loss data collected from the majority of the New Zealand insurance market, provides a comprehensive breakdown of property losses by postcode (high-resolution CRESTA Zones), with the data further divided by residential and commercial lines, and loss amounts split into buildings, contents and business interruption losses where available.

PERILS released final estimate for insurance losses from North Island floods in New Zealand
Final Industry loss footprint of the New Zealand North Island Floods, 27 January to 2 February 2023

It is complemented with postcode-level rain accumulation data.

From 27 January to 2 February 2023, Auckland and the surrounding regions experienced extreme rainfall causing intense pluvial, fluvial and sewage flooding, damaging many properties and vital infrastructure.

The event was fuelled by extraordinarily warm and humid weather throughout the summer 2022/23, which culminated in record-breaking rainstorms on 27 January and 1 February.

Most affected was the Auckland region with a population of 1.7 million. Four people died in the event with several thousand evacuated.

Christoph Oehy, CEO of PERILS, commented: “The Auckland Floods was the first loss event covered by PERILS for New Zealand. Our series of reports on the event provides a wealth of data to support the industry’s work to better understand the impacts of severe storms and floods in New Zealand”.

There is of course always more to do to ensure we can continue to deliver value to partners to better understand the impacts of Cat events. It has been a very challenging year for insurance partners dealing with the Auckland Floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, two exceptional weather events in quick succession.

Nataly Kramer   by Nataly Kramer