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Natural disasters have wreaked havoc on homeowners in parts of New Zealand in recent years, but there are steps you can take to determine if your home is in a high-risk location for natural catastrophes – and begin preparing. Earthquakes in Christchurch and Kaikoura, significant floods across the country, notably in Southland and Napier in 2020, and the 2019 Nelson bushfires, which were the country’s largest in 70 years… these are just a few of New Zealand’s natural disasters in the previous decade. However, the frequency of such disasters and other undesirable events, such as coastal erosion, is predicted to rise in the coming years as a result of the compounding effects of climate change.

New Zealand insurers, notably the Tower Insurance and IAG group of companies which include the State, NZI, AMI and Lumley brands, have already moved into risk-based pricing for property insurance in areas considered prone to natural disasters.

The main hazard drivers for New Zealand property insurance:

  • Earthquake risk: recurrence interval of various faults, shaking amplification factor according to ground conditions, liquefaction susceptibility.
  • Flood risk: flood plain data, river bank stability, detention dams.
  • Tsunami and coastal erosion: areas susceptible to sea level rise or storm surge, coastal erosion, slope stability

House insurance example

When you examine the premiums for the same residential dwelling in each region, you’ll notice a significant difference.  One insurer can make a significant distinction between locales, while others make no distinction at all. And among those who did differentiate, there is little consistency among insurers in how they implemented it.

Sampling of target risks that we can assist with

  • Ski clubs
  • Construction risks
  • Vacant properties
  • Older structures
  • Non-sprinklered risks
  • High hazard occupancies
  • EPS Sandwich Panel
  • Risks with prior high losses