Tasmanian bushfire losses double in a day

Tasmanian bushfire losses double in a day

Tasmanian bushfire losses double in a day

After some $26 million worth of insurance claims were received for the Tasmanian bushfires by Monday, that figure has almost doubled by yesterday. More claims are pouring in too…

Preliminary data collected by the Insurance Council of Australia shows more than 410 claims have been received from policyholders affected by the southern Tasmanian bushfires, with losses estimated above $42 million, as at 9am yesterday.

And as insurers start sending assessors into bushfire-affected communities, general insurers are preparing for the impact of dozens of bushfires across NSW and Victoria on one of the highest bushfire-risk days since Black Saturday. 

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Rob Whelan said he expected insurers would receive more claims from southern Tasmania this week as policyholders returned to their properties.

Whelan said the Insurance Council’s catastrophe declaration had been extended to other bushfire-affected areas of southern Tasmania, including Bicheno and Lake Repulse. Further expansion of the declared areas is possible given the ongoing nature of the fire situation.

“The positive news for policyholders is assessors are starting to enter some bushfire-affected areas where no risk is present. However, many areas remain under threat, and it could be some time before assessors are able to enter these communities.”

Whelan said dozens of bushfires were known to be blazing out of control across NSW and Victoria, and several were moving rapidly and may pose a risk to properties.

“We hope that the actions of firefighters will help protect lives and properties, but experience shows us that bushfires and grass fires are unpredictable and cause widespread damage,” Whelan said.

“All community members should heed the advice of emergency services until the danger has passed.

“Insurers have anticipated that this summer will pose widespread bushfire, cyclone and storm threats and are well prepared. Call centres are standing by to handle inquiries from policyholders affected by these natural disasters,” added Whelan.

The ICA disaster hotline is: 1800 734 621.