As Hurricane Florence bears down on the east coast of the United States a property research firm is warning its impact could have repercussions for the cost of home insurance in New Zealand.

CoreLogic, a global property firm, has predicted that 759,000 homes on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are at risk of storm surge damage with a potential rebuild cost of $170.2 billion.

And that cost could hit reinsurers and impact insurance premiums across the globe, including in New Zealand.

Richard Deakin, head of insurance sales for CoreLogic in New Zealand said: "Whilst our thoughts are obviously very firmly focused on those facing the danger and potential aftermath of Hurricane Florence, it's important to note that US weather events could impact the premiums that New Zealanders pay on their home insurance.


"As consumers, we rely on insurers to reduce our exposure to risk.

"Those same insurers buy protection for their portfolio against major events from reinsurers - who spread that risk across the globe."

Deakin said while Hurricane Florence may seem far removed from New Zealand we are all insured by the same re-insurers.

"Any large natural disaster can have a knock-on effect as reinsurers look to recoup any losses across their global market. Potentially, we could see the impact in New Zealand with increased re-insurance costs," he warned.

Deakin said 2018 was already shaping up as one for the record books with wildfires blazing across the United States and hurricane season brewing in the Atlantic basin.

He said Hurricane Florence was a reminder of how vulnerable people are to natural events and how climate change will potentially increase both frequency and severity of major weather events.

"When combined with sea level rises and increased storm surges, an increasingly large number of properties face greater risk than exists now."