Insurance claims in NSW are starting to climb as flood-affected residents return to their homes, but the very large number of impacted towns has meant insurers "may not be at all recovery centres at all times".
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today said insurers have to date received 86,703 claims related to the floods in Southeast Queensland and New South Wales, representing a 28 per cent increase since Friday.
This was driven by a 49 per cent increase from NSW, where the total number of claims is now close to 24,300.
Based on previous events the council estimates a current cost of claims of $1.3 billion, after surpassing the $1 billion mark on Friday.
Across both states 83 per cent of claims are for domestic property, with the remainder relating to motor vehicles.
ICA notes app, online or phone are the most efficient ways for customers to engage with their insurers, however if a customer attends a recovery centre and their insurer is not in attendance at that time they can pass on their details to another insurer or the ICA.
Insurers continue to work alongside Local, State and Federal Government stakeholders and agencies to resolve any issues as soon as they are known, and are monitoring the impact of the weather system currently impacting Sydney and surrounds and the New South Wales Mid-North Coast.
"The ICA and insurers are now on the ground in a number of locations supporting communities in their recovery," says ICA CEO Andrew Hall.
"We continue to hear reports that some customers are uncertain about whether to discard destroyed property.
"Insurers are encouraging customers to take photos and video and retain serial numbers and other identifying information if it is known, however they are not required to retain destroyed property, particularly if doing so would cause a health risk."
He says claims continue to grow as expected from this widespread event, which is shaping up to be one of the most significant floods this country has experienced.
"We will always have extreme weather in Australia, but if we want different outcomes the future Australian governments must increase investment in measures to retrofit homes and better protect communities," Hall says.
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