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PERILS settles on Townsville Flood estimate of AU $1.2bn

10th February 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Catastrophe loss data aggregator PERILS has settled on a figure of AU $1.243 billion (US $830 million) as its fourth and final estimate for the insurance market loss resulting from the flooding in northern Queensland, Australia over January and February 2019.

townsville-floods

Townsville flooding on Feb 4th. Credit: Zak Simmonds/Townsville Bulletin

The final estimate represents a slight increase on the previous figure of AU $1.217 billion, which was released six months ago.

It is worth noting, however, that the PERILS loss number covers the property line of business only, and therefore does not account for insured losses in motor and other lines.

The floods, which caused particular damage to the city of Townsville between 26 January and 10 February 2019, were the result of a slow-moving monsoon system which brought exceptional rainfall to northern Queensland early last year.

The resulting surface and river flooding caused devastation over large areas of rural northern Queensland, especially for the farming industry and road infrastructure.

Major insurance losses occurred in Townsville, where flooding by the Ross and Bohle rivers resulted in severe damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure.

PERILS noted that the impact on the insurance industry represents the highest flood loss figure since the Brisbane Floods in 2011.

“This market loss footprint is another example illustrating the mission of PERILS to increase data availability for natural catastrophe events and to help the market better understand and manage natural catastrophe risks,” said Darryl Pidcock, Head of PERILS Asia-Pacific.

“In the same spirit, we are currently investigating the recent bushfires and hail events in Australia,” he added. “We will provide further updates to the market using our standard approach and schedule once data collection has been completed.”

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