IAG bears brunt of estimated $254m flood insurance claims

IAG bears brunt of estimated $254m flood insurance claims

The NSW and Queensland flood crisis is set to cost Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG) $135 million, or more than half the total damages bill from the disaster. after the company announced it had received more than 8,000 claims.

That equates to almost half of the 17,000 claims received by the insurance industry as revealed by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) this week.

The ICA estimates the total value of these claims will be $254.2 million, based on the cost of similar events previously.

IAG, which owns NRMA Insurance, says the March floods could lead to a blowout of more than $40 million its natural peril claims this financial year. The current perils allowance of $658 million could hit as high as $700 million.

Suncorp (ASX: SUN) yesterday announced it claims had risen to 5,400 by yesterday afternoon, but this figure is rising. The Brisbane-based insurer has yet to give an estimate of the cost of the disaster.

Suncorp says claims have been received from NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with 80 per cent of them from NSW alone.

ICA data shows 85 per cent of the total claims filed with insurers have come from NSW with the balance from Queensland. The peak body declared an insurance catastrophe for NSW earlier this week, which was extended to Southeast Queensland on Wednesday. 

"Our teams are on the ground supporting customers in the worst impacted areas of the NSW Mid North Coast, Western Sydney and south-east Queensland, assessing the damage to our customers' homes, ensuring their properties are safe and arranging temporary accommodation for those who need it," says IAG CEO Nick Hawkins.

"Our dedicated major events team is managing claims from this event and we have increased our call centre capacity to help affected customers lodge claims as soon as possible."

IAG revealed the latest financial hit from the floods follows a relatively "benign" year for disaster with costs for the eight months to the end of February sitting at just $375 million.

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