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PERILS affirms loss estimate of AUD$1.028bn for Australia storms

31st January 2022 - Author: Pete Carvill

PERILS has looked again at the loss arising from the Southern Australia Severe Storms of last October and issued a second estimate that pegs them at AUS $1.028bn.

perils-logoThe organisation said it had based this figure on loss data collected from the majority of the Australian insurance market and includes losses in the property and motor hull lines of business. It said that its latest, second estimate remained unchanged from the initial assessment it made in December.

Darryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, said: “The weather patterns witnessed during spring and summer 2021/22 in Australia are strikingly different to those of a year ago, when Australia suffered very hot and dry conditions resulting in one of the biggest bushfire seasons in living memory. This year has been characterised by very wet weather with frequent torrential rain and hail events.”

He added: “The change in large-scale weather patterns is linked to the switch from El Niño to La Niña conditions. La Niña was predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to bring above average rainfall across much of northern and eastern Australia this year and so it did. More recently, the BOM stated that La Niña is set to reach its peak in January and might disappear by April, which should result in a reduction in extreme rain and hail events.”

On 28 and 29 October 2021, a low-pressure system generated damaging hail, wind and severe thunderstorms across the states of South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. The Adelaide region of South Australia initially experienced heavy hailstorms and strong winds on 28 October 2021.

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On the following day, south-eastern Victoria including Melbourne was impacted by heavy rainfall, hail and strong wind gusts. The system moved on to Tasmania, causing strong winds and torrential rain. The combination of hail, strong winds and surface water flooding due to torrential rainfall caused widespread damage to buildings and vehicles

An updated estimate from the Switzerland-based PERILS will be made available in May. According to its website, PERILS aims to improve the availability of insurance market data relating to natural catastrophes to help enhance the industry’s understanding of such risks as well as to facilitate risk transfer based on industry loss indices.

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