Kiwi insurers' costs minimal for cyclone

Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012

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Kiwi insurers are likely to dodge the worst effects of Cyclone Evan, which slammed into Fiji and Samoa earlier this week.

The island nations are only now beginning to tally the widespread damage.

Insurance risk expert John Sloan said the exposure was limited by a law requiring businesses and property owners in Fiji to secure cover with Fijian-based insurers, and any coverage over Samoa would be minimal. However, he expects some New Zealand-based firms with tourism businesses in the two nations will wear some of the storm's effects.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said big Australian insurers might have some exposure to Cyclone Evan-related claims, but while devastating, these would pale next to the costs from the Christchurch earthquake.

Investors also appeared to be factoring in a minimal impact on insurance company earnings, with Tower's share price largely unchanged at $1.85 so far this week, while big Australian insurer Suncorp Group rose 1.6 per cent yesterday to A$10.16.

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