Insurance Council estimates early flood damage claims already worth $900m

Insurance Council estimates early flood damage claims already worth $900m

Photo: NSW SES, via Facebook.

With more than half a million people in NSW under evacuation warnings or orders, and residents in the state's north and Southeast Queensland still awaiting reprieve from the flooding disaster as unsettled weather conditions continue, the nation's insurance bill is climbing by the day.

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) CEO Andrew Hall says it is still too early to predict when the ongoing and severe disaster will end, but based on previous events the claims already lodged are likely at $900 million in damages.

This follows a 24 per cent daily increase in claims received by ICA's members to 60,163, of which 77 per cent are from QLD with the remainder from NSW.

This ratio between the two states remains fairly similar to what it was yesterday.

"These severe weather systems have been impacting the East Coast now for more than a week and are still very active across all regions," says Hall.

"Despite that, insurers are working closely with Local, State and Federal Governments to ensure that insurers are fully coordinated in the recovery process that is starting to commence in communities up and down the coast.

"I urge all impacted policyholders to contact their insurer via phone or online as soon as possible, so we can ensure all available help and assistance can be provided, including short-term accommodation or help with food and essentials."

The number of claims reported to date are almost half of what Australian insurers received in the entirety of 2020-21, and these early dollar estimates are rapidly approaching the halfway mark for claims in normalised terms from the 2011 Brisbane and Lockyer Valley floods.

Around 15 per cent of claims in Brisbane from that event more than a decade ago were denied, although many consumers were unaware they were not covered for flood damages, often due to definitional issues. In a recent release, the ICA clarified that since then insurance policies now have a standard flood definition, and if a policyholder has opted out of that they are "most likely still covered for storm damage".

 

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