Insurers are on track to settle the vast majority of Canterbury earthquake claims by the end of this year, the Insurance Council says.
Figures released by the council show that nearly $16.7 billion had been paid out by December 2015.
That figure included 139,858 domestic claims, to a total of $7.8 billion – less than half the total.
Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said the figure reflected a 21 percent rise in the settlement rate last year, compared to 2014.
“That’s just absolutely massive in New Zealand history – as we know its been the biggest event this country has ever known in terms of damage.”
He said 5400 major repairs and rebuilds were settled last year.
This has significant flow-on effects for the Christchurch property market. The volume of ‘as is, where is’ listings and appraisals is indicative of the speed at which the major insurers are settling their claims.
Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said this year would be a pivotal one for Christchurch, with more than half the rebuild completed.
Mr Townsend said about $100 million a week would continue to be spent on reconstruction.
Although he understood the government’s end date for the rebuild was 2026, he believed that was probably overly optimistic.
“There’s still a lot to be done, there’s still a lot to be spent, there’s still a lot of investment going into the housing sector, into the commercial sector and into the key projects the government is underpinning – we’re going to see that play out.”
“I don’t know anywhere in the world where $40 to $45 billion is being tipped into a population of 360,000 to rebuild a city.
I’ve long been positive about the future of our city and am optimistic with what 2016 has in store for our city. Even in our stomping ground of Parklands, SCIRT are busy repairing roads and horizontal infrastructure on a considerable scale. Slightly further afield, the new Marshland School campus has just opened its doors for the 2016 school year. Long may the buzz of a city in regeneration continue!