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Some reinsurance claims expected from Australia’s Townsville flooding

12th February 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Damages from the torrential rainfall and flooding in the Australian city of Townsville, Queensland are expected to trigger reinsurance protection for some exposed insurers, according to reports from the Courier Mail.

Townsville

Photograph: Andrew Rankin/EPA

The latest data from the Insurance Council of Australia shows that 14,600 insurance claims have been lodged as of Tuesday morning, worth an estimated AUD $175 million (US $124 million).

Brisbane-based insurer RACQ has reported that its losses alone could range between $30 million and $50 million, having received more than 2,160 claims so far, almost 1,300 of which were for home insurance.

However, the company explained that its losses should be limited to just $20 million after its reinsurance protection kicks in.

“We plan for this, so one-off events like Townsville do not directly impact customer premiums in localised areas,” RACQ’s CEO for Insurance John Myler told Courier Mail.

Australian insurer Youi has also received 600 claims valued at over $5 million, although it stipulated that it was still too early to determine whether the flooding will trigger its reinsurance protection.

Additionally, Sydney-based insurers Allianz and AIG have received around 480 and 1700 claims, respectively, with Allianz estimating its losses at $5.7 million so far.

“About half the claims are for motor vehicles and the other half are property claims, mainly for building and, or contents,” an Allianz spokesman said.

Suncorp, which is based in Brisbane, Queensland, declined to release its claims details yet, although Courier Mail noted that earlier corporate filings suggest the insurer’s exposure would have to reach $89 million before reinsurance protection was triggered.

Other industries with potentially significant exposures to the flooding include Australian cattle producers such as AACo, which are bracing for “extreme” herd losses in some areas.

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