PERILS unveils final insurance loss estimate for 2022 Eastern Australia floods

Event is named Australia's costliest flood…

PERILS unveils final insurance loss estimate for 2022 Eastern Australia floods

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

PERILS, which provides industry-wide catastrophe insurance data, has released its final insurance industry loss report for the February-March 2022 Eastern Australia floods.

The report revealed that the final insurance market loss estimate is A$6,527 million, up from the A$6,292 million estimated by PERILS on September 13, 2022. The latest figure covers the motor and property lines of business, accounting for 9.5% and 90.5%, respectively, of the total industry loss.

The final report provides a comprehensive breakdown of motor and property losses by postcode. The data is further divided by residential and commercial lines and provides loss amounts split into buildings, contents, and business interruption losses where available. It is complemented by postcode-level rain accumulation data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Australia's costliest flood

From February 20 to March 11, 2022, Eastern Australia experienced an extended period of heavy rainfall in major river-and-surface-water flooding. The event mainly affected Southeast Queensland (QLD), the north-eastern tip of New South Wales (NSW) and the NSW Central Coast, including the surrounding areas of metropolitan Sydney.

The event has been deemed Australia's costliest flood and one of the world's worst losses outside the US in 2022.

Darryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, said PERILS' detailed loss and industry exposure data aims to contribute to industry efforts to manage flood risk and boost the resilience of the Australian economy and society to natural catastrophes.

“The East Coast of Australia has experienced several major storm and flood events during the last three summers driven by persistent La Nina conditions. While current forecasts indicate this will weaken to more normal levels, La Nina has caused the largest industry event loss in Australian history,” Pidcock said. “Despite the challenges faced by our insurance partners in dealing with these Cat events, they continue to support our efforts, for which we are extremely grateful and remain committed to providing value in return.”

PERILS CEO Luzi Hitz commented: “Reliable, systematic data is the foundation of effective risk assessment. Without it, the re/insurance industry is significantly exposed to unexpected losses and dislocation. Making such data available to enable a better understanding of natural catastrophe risk was one of the key drivers behind the launch of PERILS some 14 years ago. Every Cat event further elevates our value proposition, and as the effects of climate change become more visible, this will continue for the foreseeable future.”

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