Suncorp sent an additional team of claims specialists and assessors from its Australian insurance operations to New Zealand as communities in the North Island dealt with more severe weather, including heavy rain and gale-force winds, off the back of ex-Cyclone Gabrielle.
The CEO of Suncorp Group, Steve Johnston, said the devoted resources would assist local teams in helping customers who were impacted by the country's weather system as well as those who were still recuperating from the recent flood event that affected Auckland and the surrounding areas.
“As a trans-Tasman insurance company with strong capability in responding to extreme weather events, Suncorp Group is well-equipped to throw its full support behind its customers in New Zealand,” Mr Johnston said.
“Our teams in New Zealand have been doing a fantastic job in assisting impacted Vero and AA Insurance customers at this challenging time. However, given the scale of the flooding event and the follow up rain and cyclonic winds, all available Suncorp Group resources will be deployed to speed up the claims process,” he said.
“We currently have a team of around 100 specialists from Australia dedicated to the New Zealand event recovery efforts, including resources based in Australia and on-the-ground support.
“Our thoughts are with all of our customers experiencing further adverse weather, and we urge all of our customers and team members to prioritise their safety and follow the advice of local emergency authorities.
“We encourage impacted customers to lodge their insurance claim once it is safe to do so and to also take photos of the damage when it is safe.”
Johnston confirmed that the Suncorp Group was well protected due to its robust reinsurance programme, which provided additional coverage for New Zealand losses.
“In addition to losses from the Auckland flooding event being capped at NZ$50 million, net of reinsurance cover, the retained cost of any potential second declared event in New Zealand is NZ$25m.”
As of February 13, Suncorp’s Vero and AA Insurance brands had received approximately 11,500 claims in response to the Auckland flood event that occurred at the end of January 2023.
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