Revealed – loss estimate for Australian East Coast Low event

Revealed – loss estimate for Australian East Coast Low event | Insurance Business

Revealed – loss estimate for Australian East Coast Low event

Amid all the coronavirus panic, the Australian East Coast Low event that occurred from February 05-13 this year seems an awful long time ago. Still, the event, which impacted both Queensland and New South Wales, left its fair share of damage – and now PERILS has released its estimate on the insured property market loss.

The Zurich-based firm’s initial estimate is for losses at AU$794 million – with a further estimate due to be released on May 13.

The event, prompted by intense low-pressure systems that are classified as extratropical cyclones, drew moisture from the Tasman Sea which was warmer than usual. This led to intense rainfall and flash river flooding. There were also strong winds on February 09 and storm surges with high waves. This led to widespread damage along coastal areas.

The estimated loss is the third largest from an East Coast Low event during the past three decades. Only events in June 2007 (estimated at AU$2.4 billion) and April 2015 (estimated at AU$1.2 billion) have been more impactful.

“The summer of cat events continued with the East Coast Low event following the Australian bushfires and hailstorms. With a combination of heavy rainfall, strong wind gusts and storm surge, considerable insurance losses were experienced,” said Daryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia-Pacific. “While the East Coast Low caused significant property damage, the heavy rainfall refilled water catchment areas as well as bringing relief to many bushfire and drought-affected rural areas.”