Almost a year after the devastating hailstorm struck south-eastern Queensland on Halloween 2020, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) confirmed that almost 90% of the event's insurance claims have now been closed.
Sunday marks a year since the Halloween hailstorm occurred, which triggered more than 44,000 claims for storm and hail damage, resulting in approximately $1.08 billion insured losses. As of October 27, 88% of claims had been closed.
The $1.08 billion in insurance claims included:
- 17,500 private and commercial motor vehicle claims;
- 20,660 home building claims for damage to roofs, solar panels, guttering, walls, and internal water damage;
- 4,500 home contents claims; and
- 1,400 commercial property and crop claims.
The ICA said claims are still being lodged, with 1,000 claims submitted in the past eight weeks.
Insurers have made significant progress over the past two months and expect to finalise the claims in the coming weeks. However, claims processing following the hailstorm was impacted by external factors, including:
- A shortage of builders, roofers, and tradespeople available for repair work;
- Shortages of timber, roof tiles, and other essential building materials; and
- COVID-19 border restrictions impacting the movement of insurance personnel into SE Queensland.
ICA CEO Andrew Hall offered assurances that insurers have been working hard to catch up to claims processing.
However, the Bureau of Meteorology warned that widespread flooding, coastal flooding and erosion, tropical cyclones, and marine heatwaves will most likely hit Australia over the coming months. This could once again put pressure on insurers’ claims operations.
“Families, businesses, and communities rely on insurance disaster responders from interstate or overseas in the aftermath of natural disasters – without them, recovery is delayed with significant personal, social, and economic impacts,” Hall said. “That's why the ICA has called on state and federal governments to urgently agree to a nationally consistent approach to the movement of fully vaccinated insurance disaster responders across state borders.”