Insured losses due to natural catastrophes and weather events in Australia have reached $261m so far this year, after losses due to the Hobart storms and floods were raised to $100m by the Insurance Council of Australia.
The insurance peak body said that nearly four months after catastrophic storm struck Hobart and Kingston, resulting in 8,800 household and commercial claims, amounting to $99.72m in insured losses, almost 50% of household claims have been closed.
As of Monday, “almost 90% of motor vehicle claims have been closed, as well as about 55% of home building claims, and almost 45% of contents claims,” said Campbell Fuller, ICA general manager of communications.
ICA noted that the Hobart catastrophe was the largest natural disaster to strike Australia to date this year. This was followed by the NSW and Victorian bushfires, with $82.5m in insured losses, tropical cyclone Marcus, with $62m, and the floods in North and Central Queensland, with $17m.
Fuller said insurers were closely monitoring hundreds of bushfires in NSW and Queensland, and were concerned about the early start of the bushfire season.
Insurers were also waiting for the cyclone season outlook from the weather bureau, given the impact of last year’s cyclone Debbie, Queensland’s most expensive cyclone on record and the nation’s second-most devastating weather event.