Insurers flooded with claims from inundated Tasmania

"This has been the largest flood event in Australia's history"

Insurers flooded with claims from inundated Tasmania

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has confirmed that around 400 Tasmanians have already lodged claims with their insurance companies following the devastating floods earlier this month, and the number of claims is expected to balloon as more people return to their homes.

During a visit to Tasmania, ICA CEO Andrew Hall said: “This has been the largest flood event in Australia’s history. The insurance system is dealing with an absolute avalanche at the moment of flood claims across the east coast of Australia.”

Hall said insurers have been processing insurance claims more slowly due to the significant number of claims and the lack of tradespeople available to assess the damage bill.

“Simple claims can be processed quickly, but inundation can take a long time,” Hall said, as reported by ABC. “The system is at peak capacity; we ask people to be patient; we’ll work through these claims as quickly as possible.”

The ICA confirmed that insurers had already paid out more than $5.3 billion this year, with more than 230,000 claims lodged since February.

The catastrophic flooding in Victoria, New South Wales (NSW), and Northern Tasmania was declared a “significant event” early this month. With the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recently predicting another 20 to 40 millimetres of rain over parts of Northern Tasmania this week, the ICA expects to declare the event a “catastrophe.”

“We need to be investing at least a billion dollars a year more in flood levees, in raising homes, and ultimately, going back and fixing past mistakes,” Hall said, as reported by ABC. “There are areas of this country where houses were built that should never have been built, and we need to make sure moving forward that development isn’t approved in areas that are prone to flood.”

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