Insurance companies have faced record payouts for weather-related damage across New Zealand in 2017 - and they say the situation will only get worse with climate change.

Insurers have this year made losses of more than $242 million from weather events - including several large-scale floods, fires and cyclones - making it their most expensive year on record, according to the New Zealand Insurance Council.

The most damaging event of the year was the remnants of Cyclone Debbie, which forced the evacuation of Edgecumbe in April and prompted more than 5400 claims worth $91.5m.

That was followed by flooding in the North Island in early March and in the South Island in mid July.

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"These figures are a clear sign of the impact climate change is having on our country," says Insurance Council chief Tim Grafton.

"As time goes on, we expect to see more of these sorts of extreme weather events occurring."

About $154m of the payouts were made up of home and contents claims.

MOST EXPENSIVE WEATHER EVENTS OF THE YEAR:

Cyclone Debbie - April - $91.5m in insurance paid out

 Two houses on Cambridge Rd have lost a part of their backyard to slips caused by heavey rain from Cyclone Debbie and Cook. Photo / John Borren
Two houses on Cambridge Rd have lost a part of their backyard to slips caused by heavey rain from Cyclone Debbie and Cook. Photo / John Borren

Upper North Island floods - March - $61.7m

Fire crews assist people from a flooded building as a massive amount of rain caused flooding in the town centre of New Lynn, Auckland. Photo / Dean Purcell.
Fire crews assist people from a flooded building as a massive amount of rain caused flooding in the town centre of New Lynn, Auckland. Photo / Dean Purcell.

South Island floods - July - $31.1m

Flooding in Oamaru as a winter storm brings heavy rain and floods to the South Island. Photo / Waitaki Aquatic Centre
Flooding in Oamaru as a winter storm brings heavy rain and floods to the South Island. Photo / Waitaki Aquatic Centre

Port Hills fires - February - $18.3m

General view of the devastation caused by the bushfires that blazed through the Port Hills overlooking Christchurch. Photo / Alan Gibson
General view of the devastation caused by the bushfires that blazed through the Port Hills overlooking Christchurch. Photo / Alan Gibson

Cyclone Cook - April - $17.2m

Cyclone Cook aftermath in Napier: About 10 trees along McDonald Street Napier were uprooted crushing two cars. Photo / by Paul Taylor
Cyclone Cook aftermath in Napier: About 10 trees along McDonald Street Napier were uprooted crushing two cars. Photo / by Paul Taylor

- NZN