'Ongoing battle' - Feilding floods wear thin on community

Source: 1News

Some New Zealand families are in a never-ending clean-up cycle that’s wearing thin as constant flooding is hiking up insurance claims.

Weather-related insurance claims have hit $200 million in the first six months of the year, according to insurance council data released on Friday.

With more claims than ever before, the figure is on track to beat last year's record-breaking figure of more than $360 million.

And the damage is more than just economical.

Megan Pirret is one of more than 500 people in the flood-affected Feilding region.

She’s made two insurance claims in six months and says there may be another one in a week or two due to heavy rain forecast.

“That might be when my insurer does start looking a little harder,” she told 1News.

“I know of one lovely couple here in Feilding who have had four claims in seven months, it's an ongoing battle,” she said.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said: “Climate change is here, and now as a result of more frequent extreme weather events we are tracking at about $200 million dollars of extreme losses this year.”

Huge storms that lashed much of the North Island in March make up a large proportion of those losses.

Climate scientist Luke Harrington says the intensity of these weather events are going up in proportion to the amount of warming globally.

“The key thing is, insured national disaster losses, only cover a small amount of the impacts of climate change, it does a poor job of capturing the impacts of things like drought or even extreme heat, and we also have to really keep in mind there are so many impacts that aren't economic that are impacting livelihoods - cultural impacts.”