Insurance industry loss estimates from Cyclone Gabrielle have surpassed the $2 billion mark according to data provider PERILS.

Losses have hit $2.018 billion, according to the latest data from the research group, up from a previous estimate of $1.925 billion in May and $1.543 billion at the end of March.

The updated estimate is based on PERILS loss data by postcode and property life of business from across the NZ insurance industry. 

About 54% of the losses are personal lines property losses, while 46% are commercial lines losses, according to the data provider.

Cyclone Gabrielle ravaged New Zealand in February shortly after the damaging North Island floods, which also cost the insurance sector nearly $2 billion ($1.995 billion).

The two catastrophic weather events caused insured losses of about $4.013 billion, according to PERILS.

PERILS Asia Pacific head Darryl Pidcock said: “According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand, the largest industry loss on record from a weather event in New Zealand prior to 2023 was $171 million. 

“The total loss from Cyclone Gabrielle and the North Island Floods, currently estimated at $4,013 million, therefore highlights the extraordinary scale of the two events occurring so close to each other.”

“The last six months have been very challenging for policyholders and insurers given two such large events impacting the North Island. We hope the availability of our detailed loss and exposure data can support the industry’s efforts to better understand atmospherical risks as it works closely with policyholders, communities, and government in the recovery of the affected areas,” Pidcock added.

PERILS will provide a further update on Cyclone Gabrielle industry losses on February 17 next year — the one-year anniversary of the natural catastrophe.

Sept 2023