ICA extends catastrophe area as claims continue to rise

ICA extends catastrophe area as claims continue to rise | Insurance Business

ICA extends catastrophe area as claims continue to rise
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has widened footprint of the catastrophe area affected by recent storms to include the east coast of Victoria and Tasmania’s northern and eastern coastlines.

The declaration, issued yesterday, has seen an increase in insurance claims and losses as the east coast low tore its way through four states over the previous days.

Insurers have now received 14, 500 claims across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, with estimated insured losses now pegged at $56 million.

Karl Sullivan, acting CEO of the ICA, said that those figures may yet rise over the coming days.

“While the storm front has moved past Queensland and NSW, heavy rains are still causing damage and flooding in more southern parts of Australia, especially in Tasmania,” Sullivan said.

“The industry taskforce established under yesterday’s catastrophe declaration will now begin examining the situation in the newly added states to identify and address any issues or concerns.

“The ICA will look at sending staff to newly affected areas to work directly with affected policyholders.”

IAG has announced that it has scaled up its support for affected customers with the insurer mobilising drones alongside other support systems to affected areas.

“Our immediate priority is to assist our customers impacted by the East Coast Low to ensure they receive the right support in their time of need,” Cheryl Chantry, executive general manager of Short Tail Claims for IAG, said.

 “We have initiated our ‘All Hands on Deck’ program to help rally additional support from across our business. This means we will have extra staff rolling up their sleeves to help our customers.”

Sullivan noted that, while claims and losses are still expected to rise, the overall impact of this east coast low should “remain well below” a similar storm in April last year.

“Though this is clearly a devastating event for those directly affected, the overall impact of these storms remains well below some other recent events, including last April’s east coast low (insured losses of $950 million) and 2014’s Brisbane hailstorm ($1.4 billion), so insurers are well resourced to help all policyholders needing assistance,” Sullivan continued.

Catastrophe declared in wake of storms

Summer catastrophe bill over $500 million