East coast storms catastrophe costs spiral upwards

Insured losses from the savage east coast storms continue to spiral upwards, with the latest figures from the Insurance Council of Australia showing 16,525 claims at an estimated cost of $63.5m.

Initially the QLD and NSW storms were declared as insurance catastrophe events by the ICA on Monday, but this was expanded to include the east coast of VIC, as well as Tasmania’s northern and eastern coastlines, on Tuesday.

“So far most claims concern typical storm damage, such as roof and gutter damage, and damage due to fallen trees. There are also reports of cars being flooded in some locations,” said the ICA’s Acting CEO Karl Sullivan.

“The ICA expects the number of claims to keep rising over coming days as evacuated residents return to their homes to assess the damage.”

The east coast storms have also reportedly cost the lives of three men and two women, with several people still missing.

A number of properties at Collaroy in NSW are also on the brink of collapsing into the sea after the storms caused major coastal erosion.

NSW Premier Mike Baird has appointed retired NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens as the State Recovery Coordinator to oversee the clean-up and recovery efforts.