17 Mar 2014

Lusi's insurance impact not so bad

8:26 pm on 17 March 2014

The Insurance Council says claims resulting from the former tropical cyclone Lusi will be far less than expected.

The tail of the cyclone that killed three people in Vanuatu passed over New Zealand at the weekend.

The storm caused damage in Northland and Auckland, with heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 120km/h, sending trees and even a shed flying into power lines.

At the height of the storm, 1500 households in Northland and more than 7000 in Auckland were without power.

But Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton says early indications show damage is not as bad as anticipated, given the warnings that were in place.

Northpower lines crews in action at Puhipuhi.

Northpower lines crews in action at Puhipuhi. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

"If the full force of the cyclone had actually hit New Zealand - we were fortunate it didn't - we might have had a different story and an expensive hit on our hands."

Mr Grafton says last year was one of the most costly years for weather losses, with about $175 million in claims.

Auckland's lines company Vector says more than 90 incidents were reported over the weekend, due mainly to trees coming down on lines.