While many people laughed off the likes of ex-cyclone Cook as it passed by, New Zealand's recent weather bombs have had a devastating impact on our regional centres. The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) reported that the 'Tasman Tempest' of early March wreaked havoc on many Coromandel properties, costing in excess of $40 million.
Events like this highlight the importance of making sure your business assets insurance is always up to date. When these weather bombs strike, you can curtail the losses significantly - just look at how Coromandel companies fared.
March's weather bomb: By the business numbers
Provisional statistics from ICNZ released on May 4 show the extent to which the March weather bomb hurt New Zealand businesses. There were 763 claims for commercial material damage, business interruption or loss of profits, which totalled a $13.4 million payout.
On top of this, there were 318 claims for vehicles ($2.8 million), and $24.5 million of residential claims. All told, "the storm that packed a month of rain into 24 hours" caused $41.7 million in payouts.
"The three weather bombs we've had in recent weeks highlight the importance insurance plays when disaster strikes," added ICNZ Chief Executive Tim Grafton.
So that's the end cost - but how can business owners make sure they're protected against the next storm or flood?
ABC - always be covered
According to an ICNZ paper prepared for the Waikato District Council, many businesses remain unprepared for the realities of storm damage. The impacts go far beyond waterlogged assets and replacing roof tiles - heavy weather can be a form of business interruption, preventing cash flow or supply.
For our primary industries, storm damage can even ruin an entire season of crops. While you can take protective measures on a physical level, securing the right business insurance for volatile weather is essential. Business interruption insurance covers days spent repairing a store, or economic loss directly affiliated with a storm. Commercial vehicle insurance can cover work vehicles that are flooded, while business assets insurance takes care of the nuts and bolts of your business.
Clearly, many Kiwi businesses are ready for this. However, those that aren't shouldn't leave it to chance. Using an insurance broker gives you access to a breadth of products that can be tailored to your needs. Ex-cyclone Cook might have missed you, but the next storm could get right in your way.
About the AuthorName: Greg Greenwood
I'm the South Island Operations Manager at Rothbury Insurance Brokers and live in Christchurch. I have a portfolio of commercial clients, many who have been my clients for years. My experience of earthquake claims and issues is called…
I'm the South Island Operations Manager at Rothbury Insurance Brokers and live in Christchurch. I have a portfolio of commercial clients, many who have been my clients for years. My experience of earthquake claims and issues is called upon frequently to assist clients and those needing insurance advice in the region. I am also the Chairman, Canterbury region for IBANZ (Insurance Brokers Association NZ).Close