Heavy rains in the Canterbury region have caused huge floods, damaging numerous homes and threatening thousands more.
Insurers have begun taking action to extend support to their policyholders, but the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has said that estimates of insured losses may not be available until four to six weeks from now.
Over 200 millimetres of rain has been recorded in various areas in the region, and rescues and evacuations are underway. Many roads were closed or unpassable, and Canterbury Weather Updates has said that the flooding could be a one in one hundred year event. With forecasts of more rain coming in the next few days, the entire region of Canterbury has been placed under a state of emergency
In a Facebook post, insurer Tower said it its experiencing a higher-than-usual volume of claims calls. Meanwhile, other general insurers such as AA Insurance, AMI and State have posted or sent their customers advisories on how to keep lives and property safe during the flooding.
ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton stressed the importance of prioritising safety and urged the public in affected areas to keep up with the latest updates from MetService, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the local Civil Defence Emergency Management teams activated in the region.