Flood insurance claims lap at 50,000 mark

Flood insurance claims lap at 50,000 mark

Photo: Brisbane River, courtesy of Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner via LinkedIn.

As Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warns the state's cost from flood damages could reach as high as $1 billion, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has reported 48,220 claims to date relating to the disaster from QLD and NSW.

After the number of claims more than doubled yesterday, today they have risen by 53 per cent, meaning the daily jump is higher still with more than 17,000 people submitting claims in the past 24 hours.

Some 37,807 of the total claims are from Queensland with the remainder from New South Wales, where the council expects figures to increase in the coming days as more policyholders return to their homes and businesses.

ICA reports 84 per cent of total claims relate to property and the rest is for motor vehicles.

ICA CEO Andrew Hall is in Brisbane today meeting with State and Federal Government stakeholders to report on insurers’ activity and to ensure the recovery process fully supports impacted communities.

This has included discussion of the availability and affordability of flood cover.

The ICA has been working with members to conduct an aerial survey of the impacted zones to prepare high-resolution imagery of the event.

Commencing today an aerial survey will be undertaken of Lismore, Ballina, Grafton, Murwillumbah, Gympie, Maryborough, Brisbane and Logan.

"Following the 2011 Brisbane floods insurance policies now have a standard flood definition. If a policyholder has opted out of flood they are most likely still covered for storm damage, and if they are unsure they should speak with their insurer," Hall said.

"With appropriate mitigation infrastructure and household-level programs, property can be better protected and premiums can decrease, but this can only be achieved if governments act with urgency."

Meanwhile, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued legislative relief that allows insurers to give emergency payments to consumers affected by floods in QLD and NSW without first giving them a Cash Settlement Fact Sheet (CSFS).

A CSFS is a written document that insurers must give to consumers when they are offered a cash settlement, setting out the options available to settle their claim.

The relief streamlines the process for insurers to advance consumers up to $5,000 in cash in emergency situations without first having to issue a CSFS. 

Click here for more information on government financial support available to flood victims and affected businesses. 

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