11 Mar 2012

Farm insurance storm claims could reach $4.5m

7:47 pm on 11 March 2012

New Zealand's largest farming insurer says it has received more than 900 claims from last weekend's weather bomb totalling $3.5 million.

But the Farmers Mutual Group believes the amount could climb by another $1 million as more claims are received in coming weeks.

FMG's Conrad Wilkshire says so far, it knows of 66 homes along the western Taranaki coastline that lost roofs, smashed windows or sustained other damage in the severe storm.

Mr Wilkshire says they have also received claims from dairy farmers unable to milk due to the power being out or whose wool sheds and electric fences were damaged.

Twenty assessors should complete their work in the next three weeks, he says.

Meanwhile, lines company Powerco said on Sunday that 300 customers were still without power following the extreme weather.

Most of these customers are in remote parts of Whanganui, Patea, Waverley and the Waitotara Valley where the damage was severe.