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Insurance Council of Australia raises Sydney hail loss estimate to AUD $1.27bn

18th April 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has increased its insured loss estimate to AUD $1.271 billion (USD $910 million) for the hailstorm that affected Sydney and New South Wales in December 2018.

HailstoneAlmost 50% of the 136,424 insurance claims received after the hailstorm have already been resolved, according to the ICA.

The storm caused severe damage across suburban Sydney and many regional communities, destroying or damaging almost 95,000 private and commercial motor vehicles.

Tens of thousands of households also lodged home and contents claims, with most suffering damage to roofs, guttering and walls, as well as internal damage caused by water entering properties.

“Insurers have made rapid progress over the past 17 weeks to get families back into their homes and motorists back on the roads, despite the enormous pressure on builders, tradespeople and smash repairers,” said Campbell Fuller, General Manager for Communications and Media Relations at the ICA.

“Sydney was hit by several severe early summer storms, which had put the motor vehicle and home building repair supply chains under pressure before the December 20 storm hit,” he continued.

“Insurers are focused on working with property owners to agree on scopes of works, particularly for repairable roofs, in line with their policies. The industry has been harnessing available repairers, tradespeople and builders who are qualified, reputable and competitive, to undertake and complete outstanding work.”

The new insured loss figure by the ICA is significantly higher than the AUD $871 million (USD $624 million) recorded by the Council in January, and is roughly twice as high as the initial loss estimate of AUD $635 million (USD $455 million) released by PERILS in the same month.

Australian insurers Suncorp and IAG confirmed following the hailstorm that losses had been high enough to trigger their respective reinsurance programs.

The ICA reported that, currently, almost 50% of the 30,738 recorded residential building claims related to the hailstorm have been completed, and more than 41% of the 94,822 motor vehicle claims have also been closed.

“The ICA is pleased Berowra MP Julian Leeser and Hornsby MP Matt Kean have escalated 17 claims where policyholders have raised concerns, and these are being addressed by insurers,” Fuller added.

The hailstorm was the first of three summer catastrophes declared by the ICA, which have collectively resulted in re/insured losses of around AUD $2.422 billion (USD $1.730 billion).

Industry losses from the Townsville flooding in February have reached $1.132 billion from 27,355 claims, according to ICA data, while the Bunyip bushfires in late February resulted in $19.6 million in insurance losses from 365 claims.

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