Thursday, May 30, 2024

ICA declares weekend storm a ‘Significant Event’

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared last weekend’s severe storm a Significant Event.

The storm caused heavy rainfall, damaging winds and flash flooding, most severely impacting the Hawkesbury-Nepean and Illawarra regions of NSW.

The Council says insurers have received 11,527 claims to date, with most from damage to buildings and contents as a result of wind and heavy rain causing gutters to overflow and flash flooding to occur.

At this stage it is too early to estimate the insurance damage bill, said ICA CEO, Andrew Hall.

“Insurers are already on the ground in impacted areas assisting customers and responding to claims and will be at Recovery Centres in the Illawarra and Hawksbury-Nepean over the next three days,” said Mr Hall.

Under a ‘Significant Event’ declaration:

  • The ICA commences its claims data collection, analysis, and reporting processes in consultation with members;
  • ICA representatives will continue to work with government and agencies to understand impacts on the community and ensure affected residents receive assistance.

If property or a vehicle have been impacted, customers are advised to contact their insurer as soon as possible to commence the claims process even if they do not know the full extent of damage.

(Photo: NSW SES Wollongong unit).

Insurance customers are not required to keep destroyed property, including carpets and furnishings, and should instead take photos, note any identifying information, and keep materials samples.

New data also released today shows that losses from declared insurance catastrophes this summer have reached close to $1.6 billion, with the cost of the Christmas Storms now exceeding $1.1 billion.

  • Ex-TC Jasper (CAT 232): $296 million incurred from nearly 10,000 claims.
  • Christmas Storms (CAT 233): $1.1 billion incurred from nearly 95,000 claims.
  • Valentines’ Day storms (SE 241): $162 million incurred from nearly 25,000 claims.

“The summer of 2023-24 saw a number of extreme weather events across the east coast, with two declared catastrophes including a cyclone and severe storms and flooding in Queensland,” said Mr Hall.

“As we move into autumn the impact of extreme weather continues with the storm that largely impacted NSW last Friday and Saturday.”

The ICA’s extreme management processes have been activated to escalate insurers’ response for customers impacted by the event from Wednesday 3 April 2024 to Monday 8 April.

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