THE severe storms that pummelled the east coast over the weekend have been declared an insurance catastrophe with claims tipping $38 million.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has recorded more than 11,150 claims from across the east coast of Queensland and NSW over damage related to heavy rainfall.
ICA acting CEO Karl Sullivan says insurers will be able to fully harness the industry's disaster response resources following the catastrophe declaration.
"The ICA and its members are liaising with state governments, agencies and the emergency services in response to the damage caused by these storms," Sullivan says.
"So far most claims concern typical storm damage, such as roof and gutter damage, and damage due to fallen trees. There are also reports of cars being flooded in some locations."
As a result of the catastrophe declaration, the ICA has established a taskforce to identify potential issues, activated its disaster hotline and prepared staff to work with affected policyholders.
"The ICA expects the number of claims will keep rising over coming days as evacuated residents return to their homes to assess the damage," Sullivan says.
"Insurers are also standing by to assist their policyholders in Victoria and Tasmania as the low pressure system pushes southwards.
"Policyholders who have been affected should contact their insurance company as soon as possible so the claims process can commence.
"Insurers have electronic records and policyholders who can't find their paperwork need only provide their name and address."
He says it's important to take photos of damage to support the claim and speak to your insurer before completing any repairs.
Policyholders who are unsure about the claims process can call the disaster hotline on 1800 734 621.
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