Insurer body ICA releases latest tally for November hailstorm

The most recent claims numbers and values have been totted up for last month’s natural catastrophe

Insurance News

By Maryvonne Gray

Insured losses from the November hailstorm that struck parts of northwest Victoria, northeast South Australia and southern New South Wales have now risen to $192.6 million, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has revealed.

Losses from the event, which was declared a catastrophe by the ICA on November 15, were gathered from 28,146 claims.

South Australia was the most severely affected with insured losses of $130 million from 20,080 claims.

NSW has reached $37.5 million from 4,529 claims, and Victorians have lodged 3,537 claims for insured losses of $25.2 million.

ICA said more than 15,000 motor vehicle claims had been lodged from the event for an estimated value of $80 million.

Three quarters of those claims come from South Australia.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan said at the time that the decision to classify it as a catastrophe enabled the industry to heighten its response.

This included the establishment of an industry taskforce to identify and address emerging issues; the activation of a disaster hotline to help policyholders with their insurance-related questions; and mobilisation of ICA staff to work directly with local services and affected policyholders in the region.

“Insurers recognise how serious this situation is for a region so dependent on agriculture, and are responding with appropriate urgency,” Whelan said a few days after the storm hit.

IAG had earlier revealed it expected to incur a net cost of $200 million from both the storm and the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand on November 14.

The company said it expected its FY17 net natural peril claim costs to still be in line with its $680 million allowance, however.

The $200 million net cost for the two events comprised of a $20 million retention applicable to each event, plus the residual deductible of approximately $160 million attaching to IAG’s calendar 2016 aggregate reinsurance cover as of the end of October, the company said.

“Assuming a net cost of $200 million from the latest events, year-to-date net natural peril claim costs would be approximately $340 million, compared to IAG’s full year allowance of $680 million, which is included in its FY17 reported insurance margin guidance of 12.5-14.5%,” it stated.

“Given the strength of its reinsurance cover, which includes $96 million of perils protection immediately above $680 million on a financial year basis, IAG retains its existing reported insurance margin guidance range.

“Based on a $200 million net cost from the combined trans-Tasman storm and New Zealand earthquake events, IAG’s maximum event retention becomes $20 million in Australia and NZ$20 million in New Zealand, until December 31, 2016.”

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