ICA declares "significant event" for Newcastle hailstorm

Claims numbers and affected lines of business revealed

ICA declares "significant event" for Newcastle hailstorm

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a Significant Event for the Hunter and Central Coast regions in the New South Wales (NSW) that took a hit from the hailstorm on May 26.

The declaration has activated the ICA's preliminary catastrophe processes, assisting insurers to assess the hailstorm's impact on insurance.

Under the declaration:

  • The ICA commences its claims data collection, analysis, and reporting processes in consultation with members; and
  • ICA representatives will work with the government and agencies to understand the event's impacts on the community and ensure that the affected residents receive assistance.

“The insurance industry has made this Significant Event declaration to activate services and support for affected motorists, homeowners, and businesses and reassure them that their insurer is there to help,” said ICA CEO Andrew Hall.

As of 10am on May 29, insurers had received 7,552 claims related to the hailstorm, with 6,021 of the claims for damage to motor vehicles.

The ICA advised customers with property or vehicle impacted by the hailstorm to contact their insurer as soon as possible to start the claims process, even if they do not yet know the full extent of the damage.

“It's too early to understand the full extent of the damage in affected areas and to estimate the insurance damage bill. However, we know that most of the damage has been to motor vehicles,” Hall said. “The ICA would like to urge those affected to talk to directly to their insurer, to be aware of any unauthorised people taking advantage of the widespread damage, and to report any suspicious activity or interaction to government authorities or police.”

As extreme weather leaves Australians underinsured, the ICA continues to support initiatives to improve Australia's disaster resilience. Early this month, it backed the 2023-24 budget to improve emergency early warning systems and the 10-year funding to remediate high-priority flood warning infrastructure and address critical reliability risks.

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