Significant weather events across New Zealand have already cost insurers more than $135 million so far this year.

Cyclones Debbie and Cook in April cost $84m according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand, with a number of Edgecumbe residents forced to evacuate.

More than 4500 claims were made after Cyclone Debbie, totalling $66.4m.

Later in the month, a further 3000 claims came through totalling $18m after Cyclone Cook.


Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said it had been a bad start to the year.

"We're not even half way through 2017 and well on the way to one of the most damaging in recent years for extreme weather events," Grafton said.

"The weather bombs we've had this year highlights the importance insurance plays when disaster strikes.

"In towns such as Edgecumbe, where there are significant numbers of residents not insured, the Government is sending all the wrong signals by increasing the cost of insurance" he said.

Provisional data released by the Insurance Council showed nearly 6400 house and contents claims had been filed this year, costing $61.6m.

Of these, 1016 were for commercial material damage and business interruption claims costing $16.8m and 549 were motor vehicle claims costing $4.8m.

Grafton warned that major increases in taxes and levies on people who insure their homes could see low-income households not able to protect themselves from disasters.

"Hikes in the earthquake and Fire Service levies means people with house and contents insurance will be taxed over $450 annually," Grafton said.

"[That's] without even counting the 15 per cent GST applied to the premium that the insurer charges."