Insurance catastrophe declaration widens

Insurance catastrophe declaration widens | Insurance Business Australia

Insurance catastrophe declaration widens

South East Queensland is now included in the Insurance Council of Australia’s (ICA) insurance catastrophe declaration, which initially spanned large parts of flood-hit New South Wales.

When the NSW declaration was made earlier this week, it was still being determined whether SE Queensland would require the same expedited response following the effects of extreme weather. Now the ICA has expanded the declaration and released the latest claims numbers including those outside of NSW.

According to the trade body, policyholders in the two Australian states have collectively lodged more than 17,000 claims as of 9:30am today (March 24). Of this total, 15% came from Queensland.

Meanwhile, based on the average cost of claims from previous similar events, the ICA estimates the total value of claims received so far to be around $254.2 million. It was stressed that the initial approximation is not based on the value of the actual claims.

Read more: “This event is a reminder to insurers”

With the declaration now also applying to SE Queensland, claims from the region will be prioritised and triaged, ensuring that the worst-impacted are provided with urgent assistance.

Affected policyholders in SE Queensland now also get access to the ICA disaster hotline (1800 734 621), which fields general queries about the claims process and can help policyholders who are unable to determine their insurer.

“ICA representatives will be mobilised to work with local agencies and services and affected policyholders as soon as emergency services say it is safe to do so,” added the trade body.

Similarly, insurers will deploy disaster response specialists once it is safe to do so. An industry taskforce has also been established so that issues arising from the catastrophe are identified and addressed.