New Zealand's stormy start to the year is likely to result in more than $80 million worth of claims to insurers in just three months.

Figures from the Insurance Council of New Zealand show more than $65m of claims have already been made, but that doesn't include Cyclone Gita.

Three major storms have hit the country so far this year.

The January storm that caused flooding and slips in and around the Coromandel, Kaiāua on the western side of the Firth of Thames and the Bay of Plenty cost $26.7 million.


Cyclone Fehi hit on February 1, causing widespread wind damage and flooding in coastal towns and states of emergency were declared in Dunedin and Buller.

So far insurers have had $38.5 million in claims relating to Fehi.

Data from Cyclone Gita, which hit New Zealand on February 20, has yet to be finalised.

But a spokeswoman for the Insurance Council said she expected claims relating to Gita to be similar to the other two storms - around $20m to $30m.

Tim Grafton, chief executive of the Insurance Council, said the costs were not insignificant.

"We've had $65.2 million in insured losses from extreme weather already this year, off the back of two storms in the first quarter, and we're yet to receive the data for Cyclone Gita."

The stormy start to 2018 follows the most expensive year on record in New Zealand for weather-related losses at $242 million.

The most expensive storm of 2017 was Cyclone Debbie, which struck in early April and resulted in $91.5 million worth of claims.

Grafton warned that climate change meant New Zealand was likely to see more frequent, severe storms.

"It's important that we don't lose sight of the impact cumulative extreme weather can have.

"And this is the sort of thing we can expect to see with ongoing climate change – more frequent, more severe storms."

2018 Storm insurance costs
January storm $26.7 million
Cyclone Fehi $38.5m
Cyclone Gita ???