New Zealand insurers receive NZ$890 million in claims after cyclone

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By Lucy Craymer

WELLINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) -Insurance companies in New Zealand have received 40,000 claims worth around NZ$890 million ($560 million) for damage from a cyclone that hit the country last month, their industry association said on Thursday.

Among the claims, 27,800 had been for home and contents damage worth an initial NZ$453 million, said the association, the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

There had also been claims worth NZ$350 million from businesses plus NZ$70 million for vehicle damage, it said. Thousands of cars were written off because of cyclone damage.

Cyclone Gabrielle hit the North Island's northernmost region on Feb. 12 and tracked down the east coast, inflicting widespread destruction and leaving at least 11 people dead.

"Insurers are doing all that they can to get assessments completed and to agree next steps with customers," said Tim Grafton.

The council said earlier this month that insurance claims for January floods in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, had reached NZ$565 million dollars.

($1 = 1.5962 New Zealand dollars)

Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Bradley Perrett


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