ICA: Record breaking flood is fourth costliest natural disaster

Claims costs at $4.3 billion

ICA: Record breaking flood is fourth costliest natural disaster

Catastrophe & Flood

By Micah Guiao

The record floods that struck SE Queensland and Northern NSW have surpassed the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake for damage costs. According to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), the disaster is now the costliest flood in Australian history – at $4.3 billion nearly double the insured losses of the 2011 Brisbane flood.

“The Insurance Council and insurers continue to work with communities affected by this record-breaking flood, now Australia’s fourth costliest disaster,” said Andrew Hall, the ICA’s CEO.

The extreme event was behind only the Eastern Sydney Hailstorm at $5.57 billion, Cyclone Tracey at $5.04 billion and Cyclone Dinah at $4.69 billion.

At the end of May, the ICA has recorded more than 215,000 claims across Queensland and New South Wales.

The estimated cost of $4.3 billion in insured losses represents a 28% rise from last month’s figures. The ICA said this was due to the progression in the claims assessment process and a recent influx in commercial claims.

The ICA said more than 20% of claims have been closed with payouts to policyholders now approaching $1 billion.

“Keeping Australia insurable as extreme weather events worsen requires governments to invest in appropriate physical mitigation and adaptation strategies,” said Hall.

The CEO said the ICA’s community forums in flood-impacted towns will continue throughout June.

“Insurers and the Insurance Council look forward to working with the Albanese Government to implement its $200 million Prevent, Repair, Rebuild package to better protect Australian homes and communities from the impacts of extreme weather,” said Hall.

The community forums provide an overview of the floods, claims process, complaints avenues and other support to insured flood victims. 

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