By Alastair Bull
Tornadoes that ripped through two west Auckland suburbs are set to cost the insurance industry about $3 million.
The tornadoes in Hobsonville and Whenuapai last Thursday claimed three lives, left 22 properties uninhabitable and caused substantial damage to more than 200 other properties.
Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton says there have been 900 individual claims to date, with a preliminary cost of $3 million.
"That's just preliminary on the basis of early assessments," he said.
"That figure could go up, but it would be a very big surprise if that went up substantially."
That compares to the $7 million cost to insurers caused by the tornado which ripped through the North Shore suburb of Albany last year, killing one person.
"That one there impacted on the shopping centre there, so there was business interruption insurance and costs like that.
"It's my understanding that this latest tornado has primarily damaged housing property."
The amount didn't include defence property, which might not fall under private insurance, Mr Glover said.
A Defence Force spokeswoman said no figures on the cost it was facing were available.
A spokesman for the Earthquake Commission says it covers damage to residential land but not to buildings or to farm land.
Auckland Civil Defence has estimated the total value of damage could be between $11 million and $13 million.
Massey residents Tom Stowers, 42, and Brendon Johnson, 22, and Tuakau resident Keith Langford, 60, were killed by falling concrete slabs at the site where Hobsonville High School was being built.