How bad were the Australia Christmas storms?

Data covers damages to properties and vehicles

How bad were the Australia Christmas storms?

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

PERILS has announced an updated loss estimate for the storms that swept through Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland during the last week of December 2023.

The revised loss figure is pegged at AU$1,547 million, marking an increase from the preliminary estimate of AU$1,395 million announced on February 14, 2024.

This update is based on comprehensive loss data sourced from the Australian insurance industry, covering damages to properties and vehicles.

Australia’s 2023 Christmas storms

The announcement highlighted the financial aftermath of the extreme weather conditions that plagued the eastern Australian states from December 23 to 29, 2023.

The storms, characterised by severe hail, forceful winds, and extensive flooding, resulted from an unusual climatic blockage. A high-pressure system over the Tasman Sea prevented a low-pressure system in southeastern Australia from moving, leading to an extended duration of stormy weather.

See LinkedIn post here.

Insurance market analysts await a more detailed report, expected on July 3, 2024, that will dissect the industry losses by specific geographical areas and categories of business. This forthcoming analysis aims to provide a granular view of the storm’s impact on the insurance sector.

For reinsurance considerations, Australian storm events are defined by certain meteorological benchmarks or loss accumulation windows, often set at 168 hours. By aligning with the industry’s prevalent storm event definition, PERILS aggregates the damage from the December storms into a single insurance event for the specified week.

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