Australia’s weekend storm declared a ‘Significant Event’ by ICA

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the severe storm that hit the country at the beginning of April a ‘Significant Event’.

Insurers have received 11,527 claims to date from the storms that caused heavy rainfall, damaging winds and flash flooding, which greatly impacted the Hawkesbury-Nepean and Illawarra regions of New South Wales.

Most claims are related to 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, according to the announcement, it is too early to estimate the insurance damage bill.

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.

Under a ‘Significant Event’ declaration the ICA commences its claims data collection, analysis, and reporting processes in consultation with members.

ICA representatives will also continue to work with government and agencies to understand impacts on the community and ensure affected residents receive assistance, the council noted.

Recent data has revealed that, this summer, losses from declared insurance catastrophes in Australia have reached close to $1.6 billion.

The cost of the Christmas Storms has now exceeded $1.1 billion, incurred from nearly 95,000 claims. The cost of Ex-TC Jasper was $296 million incurred from nearly 10,000 claims, while for the Valentines’ Day storms was $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,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall commented.

He continued: “As we move into autumn the impact of extreme weather continues with the storm that largely impacted New South Wales last Friday and Saturday.

“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.”

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