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Insurance News: Summer catastrophes claims bill tops $5 billion

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Insurance claim costs from Australia’s worst summer of natural catastrophes have reached $5.19 billion, with more than 15,000 new claims worth $270 million lodged in the past four weeks.

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) spokesman Campbell Fuller says the new claims received have pushed the total number to more than 288,100.

“Insurers have already paid more than $2.85 billion for emergency accommodation, business interruption, repair and rebuilding work, replacement of motor vehicles and goods, services and settlements,” he said.

“This is despite the widespread impact of the natural disaster season and the handbrake effect of COVID-19.”

Almost 50% of claims from the four storm, bushfire and hailstorm catastrophes have been closed by insurers.

For the bushfires disaster, almost two-thirds of residential building claims have been closed. In other lines, 80% of contents claims, 70% of motor vehicle claims and more than 50% of business interruption claims have been finalised.

ICA says the industry is still assessing the claims impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, which was declared a catastrophe on March 11.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) said today that claims from weather-related losses last year have risen to $NZ167.6 million ($156.5 million) following updated figures from the November 20 Timaru hailstorm and a tornado.

Hailstorm losses have risen to $NZ130.75 million ($122.08 million) from $NZ83 million ($77.5 million), making it the country’s second most costly weather event this century after Lower North Island storms in 2004 that cost $NZ148.3 million ($138.5 million).

ICNZ CEO Tim Grafton says events like the hailstorm show how quickly costs can escalate.

“While the Timaru hailstorm lasted minutes, the destructive nature of the event was felt by thousands of locals,” he said. Losses from the November 18 Christchurch Tornado have increased to $NZ4.04 million ($3.77 million).

Blog Submission: Peter Sellwood

PALTD InsureRight – Insurance & Risk Management

Source: Insurance News

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