A ferocious storm that pummelled the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty regions in early January cost private insurers close to $34.2 million.

More than 4200 claims were made for the event, according to new figures released by the Insurance Council.

The monster storm that ripped across the country destroyed a state highway in the Coromandel, with huge waves and king tides inundating coastal communities with water.

The storm caused flooding in and around the Coromandel, the town of Kaiāua on the western side of the Firth of Thames and the Bay of Plenty.


Scores of people were stranded in the settlements of Tapu and Te Mata due to slips which blocked all access to the area.

Domestic claims made up the bulk of the impact, with over 3000 claims made in relation to homes and properties and more than $19 million paid out for these, following the storm.

Private insurers also stumped up more than $11.7m for commercial claims and close to $2m for claims related to motor vehicles.

ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said the storm caused substantial damage to the region - particularly to the towns of Kaiāua and Thames.

"We went into these towns shortly after the storm passed, along with private insurers, to talk to residents about the help they needed and to listen to their experiences," he said.

"It's important to us as a sector to get claims resolved quickly so people can get back on their feet and talking to those affected is the first step."

Grafton said the cost of the storm demonstrated the importance of adapting to climate change as well as putting processes and infrastructure improvements in place, which could minimise the cost and impact of these events.

"As time goes on, we expect these sorts of events to become both more frequent and more severe.


"Every dollar spent on adaptation now will be more than repaid in future savings."