The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has extended its insurance catastrophe declaration to New South Wales (NSW) as extreme rainfall led to a significant increase in insurance claims.
On Saturday, the ICA declared an insurance catastrophe for southeast Queensland. Now, it has also declared an insurance catastrophe to areas in NSW impacted by the weather event and the weather cell impacting the south to the mid-north coast.
Since February 21, insurers have received nearly 15,000 claims related to extreme rainfall in both states, a 33% increase on Sunday's claim figures. Under the insurance catastrophe declaration, the insurance industry will escalate and prioritise its response to affected policyholders by:
The extended insurance catastrophe declaration covers claims related to the ongoing severe weather and flooding events on the east coast.
In a statement, ICA CEO Andrew Hall said it is still too early to estimate the insurance damage bill as many property owners remain in evacuation centres while flood waters rise or recede in certain areas. However, insurers expect the number of claims to balloon as policyholders return to their homes and businesses.
“Personal safety should be the number one priority as this extreme weather event continues to impact communities along the east coast,” Hall added. “Insurers are already assisting policyholders and stand ready to provide on-the-ground assistance as soon as it is safe to do so.”
With Australia getting hit by extreme weather events left and right every year, the ICA decided to publish “Building a More Resilient Australia,” a Federal election policy platform that calls for Australian governments to double Federal funding to $200 million yearly until reaching $2 billion over the next five years.