Seddon quakes claims over $30 million

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 07:03 20/12/2013

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Marlborough and Wellington people have claimed more than $30 million from insurers after the Seddon earthquakes in July and August, the Insurance Council of New Zealand says.

In a report issued yesterday, the council said the magnitude 6.6 earthquake on August 16 was most damaging of the quakes, accounting for $16.2m of claims compared to $14.9m for the magnitude 6.5 quake on July 21.

The total amount claimed in both events was $31.1 million.

Homeowners were hardest hit in August with $5.2m damage to home and contents claimed, compared to $2m in July, the council said.

That amount is the amount insurers would have to cover for damage over the first $100,000 to a house. That first $100,000 is covered by the Earthquake Commission. Insurance Council spokesman Samson Samasoni said all the insurers in New Zealand reported to the council in total numbers, and the council sent them out in aggregated form.

There was no regional breakdown on the location of the claims, but most of them were from Marlborough, he said.

The Earthquake Commission had told the council 21 "over cap" residential property claims were passed on to private insurers as a result of the Seddon earthquakes, Mr Samasoni said.

Of those claims, he said it was believed that all but three were in Seddon. There may be another six working their way through the system, and they were also believed to be from Marlborough.

Commercial property suffered the most with $23.2m of the total cost accounted for in material damage across the two events, the council said.

However, commercial damage in the July quake proved more costly with $12.6m damage compared to $10.6m in August. There was also $600,000 of business interruption insurance paid out across the two events. The Earthquake Commission does not cover commercial properties.

Other small claims for motor vehicle and other damage brought the claims totals to $31.1m.

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- The Marlborough Express

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