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Cost of Southland February floods grows to $29.6m to support customer recovery

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The extent of damage caused by the February floods has been reaffirmed, with insurance customers receiving $29.6 million for weather related losses.

The cost to support customers recover from the flood, that saw a state of emergency declared in Southland, Fiordland and Clutha, increased significantly from the preliminary figure of $19.7 million in early May.

Tim Grafton, Insurance Council of New Zealand Chief Executive, says the cost reinforces the importance of having insurance to help you get back on your feet when the unexpected happens.

"These events are becoming ever more frequent and severe for our communities - we need to only look back a couple of weeks to the last flood event that has had a devastating impact on Northland.

While the cost of the Northland floods is still being calculated it is expected that there will be several thousand claims to repair the damage left behind.

"We know that with climate change events like these will only increase. We must adapt to these changes and take steps to reduce risks where possible to minimise the social impact and cost," says Mr Grafton.

This was further reinforced this week in the Ministry of the Environment’s National Climate Change Risk Assessment for New Zealand report, which states that extreme weather events such as storms, heatwaves and heavy rainfall are likely to be more frequent and intense.

Mr Grafton says we need use these insights to build more resilient communities.

"The report notes that large increases in extreme rainfall are expected everywhere in the country. Pairing this with our knowledge of flood prone areas is critical as we develop new and existing areas of New Zealand to reduce risks for Kiwis."

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