Extreme weather events mean complex issues and stressful times. It's at times like these FMG's response really matters.

It’s been a brutal winter for some parts of the country. We had two major flood events with the May/June floods in Canterbury, along with flooding and land damage in Marlborough and the West Coast in July.

Some of the flooding in parts of inland areas in Canterbury was so extreme it might only be expected once in 200 years—and flows on the Buller River were the largest of any New Zealand river in almost 100 years.

It's times like these when the value of having a good insurer on your side is important and our response to these storms has been as swift as those that have gone before them.

An urgent response was what Crispin Deans needed when his historic Homebush Farm was flooded in Canterbury this year. He saw vast amounts of fencing destroyed and two important bridges washed out on his property.

“We saw years of work destroyed, which when added to the new work, meant our plans and strategies were now redundant,” says Crispin.

He was on the phone to FMG first thing. “From then until the claims were settled, we had a great all-around experience.

When the assessor came down, he was efficient and thorough but most importantly he stood by what he said he'd do. The focus on outcomes was very clear.”

Crispin says insurance plays an important role in his business.

We’re always challenged by circumstances outside of our control. Insurance gives us the ability to manage those challenges without impacting our long-term vision for the property too much.

The challenging times have highlighted the resilience and heart of the people of rural Canterbury. “What has kept everyone going is the fantastic way the community supports one another,” says

Crispin. “We’ve been deeply touched by all the offers of help we’ve had following the floods—and more recently the windstorms—and we know our friends and neighbours feel the same.”

The windstorm in September was another example of FMG quickly responding to events as they unfolded. Canterbury was hit twice in three days by devastating gale force winds that caused widespread damage.

Power was cut to around 1,500 homes and roads were impassable with trees toppled, roofs and doors blown off and irrigators blown over, causing massive disruption to farmers and growers in the region. Immediately after the winds had passed

FMG boosted the number of assessors in the region and worked closely with Irrigation NZ to help ensure there were enough parts available to repair irrigators and get farmers and growers back on their feet.

While we can’t control the weather, we can control our response to it and with our advice led approach help our clients prepare for it.

"The reality is we’re seeing more extreme weather events,” says Jonathan Cleland, Head of Underwriting at FMG. “The strength of FMG and the mutual model is that we support a community of farmers and growers, and we’re in it for the long haul. Our vision is one of sustainability, noting extreme weather will be just one of a number of risks our clients are managing.”

By the numbers:

Marlborough/West Coast flood

878 claims

Total cost: $4.2 million

Canterbury flood

693 claims

Total cost: $5.1 million

Canterbury windstorm

1,336 claims

Total cost: $3.5M