Suncorp has released an update on the expected financial impact of the rainfall and floods that devastated New South Wales (NSW), South East Queensland, and Victoria in March.
As of 12pm (AEST) on March 30, Suncorp had received over 7,600 claims across all three states, with NSW accounting for three-quarters of claims, Queensland around 20%, and the balance from Victoria and ACT.
Suncorp expects the number of claims to rise as customers gain access to affected regions and the extent of the damage becomes clearer. Based on the recorded claims and preliminary damage assessment, the insurer estimates $230 million to $250 million net claims costs in relation to the extreme weather event.
The insurer also expects the majority of claims to be attributed to a single event across all three states for reinsurance. This weather event’s costs will be capped at $250 million under Suncorp’s main catastrophe program.
Suncorp Group chief executive officer Steve Johnston said the insurer continues to work with its customers, particularly in the hardest-hit areas of the Mid-North Coast of NSW and Western Sydney.
“Floods too frequently devastate communities across Australia, which is why as a country we must address this risk. Unfortunately, many homes in Richmond, Windsor, Penrith, Port Macquarie, and Taree are in medium to very high flood risk areas,” Johnston said.
“As a country, we need to address how we can protect homes in flood-prone regions through government investment in mitigation infrastructure. We must also improve planning decisions to ensure we are not building new homes in high-risk areas.”
Suncorp welcomed the Queensland and NSW governments’ decision to classify assessors and tradespeople as essential workers as the scale of the disaster necessitates the movement of interstate assessors and repairers so customers and communities can recover as soon as possible, said Johnston.