6 Dec 2016

Rural quake damage tipped at $40m

2:53 pm on 6 December 2016

Rural insurance company FMG estimates that at least $40m of claims will be made from the 7.8 earthquake and aftershocks.

FMG's Chief Operations Officer Conrad Wilkshire said the firm insured about half of the farms and rural businesses in the Kaikōura, North Canterbury and Marlborough districts.

A damaged home in Waiau.

A damaged home in Waiau. Photo: AFP

Mr Wilkshire said so far they had received about 700 insurance claims from 500 businesses.

He said most earthquakes result in contents claims, but this time it has been more structural.

"What we're seeing now is a significant number of residential and farm building claims, more than we've ever seen in any other earthquake. Fifty percent of the claims so far relate to significant damage to the residence and farm accommodation."

Mr Wilkshire said it was hard to put a firm number on the extent of the damage that was being claimed, but they set an initial estimate at $23m.

When asked by RNZ about the figure they are now estimating three weeks later, he said that they expect claims to double to at least $40m.

"It could easily be that."

Across all the insurance companies there is a depth of experience to deal with the damage, said Mr Wilkshire.

"The scale of it is well within the industry's capacity to support it, but it certainly is going to be driving a lot of our New Year planning in terms of resourcing and making sure we have all hands on deck.."

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