Catastrophe costs stacking up

Insurance companies have received almost 7500 claims following the heavy rain and deluge sweeping southeast Queensland and northern NSW over the weekend, with initial losses estimated at $26 million.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the event a catastrophe, with CEO Rob Whelan stating that claims are expected to increase over the coming week.

“The flow of claims was initially slow over the weekend, but large numbers of claims were lodged on Sunday. Insurers expect many more will be lodged this week and are standing by to assist their customers,”  Whelan says.

The recent inundation is the fifth catastrophe declared this year, contributing to what has been a devastating six months for Australian homeowners and businesses.

Since November 2014, natural disasters and events across Australia have caused more than $2.14 billion in insurance losses.

The hailstorms that pummelled Brisbane in November 2014 have resulted in 120,444 claims.  Estimated losses to date are $1.35 billion, with domestic residences copping the majority of damage.

Bushfires in South Australia during January have stacked up 996 claims and estimated losses of $36.6 million to date.

Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Marcia in February led to 35,366 claims in Central Queensland and estimated losses have reached $446 million.

Losses from the storms that hit the NSW coast last month are still being counted, with 35,150 claims lodged as of Monday, with initial estimated losses moving to $249 million.

The Anzac Day hailstorm has resulted in more than 9500 claims and initial losses are estimated at $63.3 million.

Assessors have been brought in from interstate and overseas to help get through the heavy workload resulting from the quick succession of damaging natural events.