Insured flood losses in Queensland and NSW creep towards $2 billion

Major insurer announces new relief package

Insured flood losses in Queensland and NSW creep towards $2 billion

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

The latest estimated claims cost for the devastating floods in southeast Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) is approximately $1.77 billion, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) – and the total number of claims is increasingly daily.

The latest assessment on March 10 increased slightly from $1.62 billion on March 9, and both estimates are subject to a detailed assessment of claims as loss adjustors move in over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the number of claims received by insurers related to the catastrophic storm and flooding in Queensland and NSW as of March 10 totalled 118,016, a dramatic jump from 107,844 on March 9. Among the claims, 73,823 were received by insurers from Queensland and 44,193 from NSW. Moreover, property accounted for 81% (95,209) of all claims related to the severe weather event, motor 16% (19,481), and other 3% (3,326).

As the insurance industry expects to receive more claims related to the catastrophic weather event, insurers continue to support affected customers and communities, with Insurance Australia Group's (IAG) NRMA Insurance (NRMA) being the latest to release a new initiative.

NRMA group executive Julie Batch announced that the insurer put up the NRMA Insurance Help Package, which totals $1 million, to provide essential items to communities via GIVIT (received $400,000), help communities build their longer-term resilience and capacity to deal with future events via Australian Red Cross (received $300,000), and support the ongoing mental health needs of communities via Lifeline (received $300,000).

“Along with our community partners, NRMA Insurance is determined to help increase the focus on Resilience to protect communities from the impacts of natural disasters and help reduce the risks people face,” Batch said.

Meanwhile, the ICA has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison's comments that the Federal government will invest in infrastructure to make communities more resilient to extreme weather events like the recent flood.

The ICA has been calling for increased Federal government funding to make at-risk homes and communities more resilient to floods, cyclones, and bushfires. Last month, it released an election platform and a supporting report from actuarial consultants Finity, highlighting Lismore as one of nine locations in need of urgent flood mitigation infrastructure.

“This infrastructure and mitigation investment is vitally important to prevent future harm and devastation to these communities, as we know flood events will inevitably repeat,” said ICA CEO Andrew Hall.

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