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Townsville flooding claims rise again, cost now estimated at AUD 165mn: ICA

11th February 2019 - Author: Luke Gallin

Insurance companies have now received 13,560 claims, amounting to losses of an estimated AUD 165 million (USD 117mn), in relation to the torrential rainfall and flooding in the City of Townsville, Queensland, according to data from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

Townsville

Photograph: Andrew Rankin/EPA

The latest figures are as of 10am local time, and the ICA states that insurers have already paid over AUD 16 million in support and emergency accommodation to policyholders.

Reinsurance News reported recently that local media had cited rising losses from the event, with data revealing that claims had risen to more than 11,800, with this figure expected to rise. The latest data shows that claims continue to rise, surpassing 13,500, ultimately resulting in higher losses for insurers.

The ICA has said that it will hold two insurance forums in Townsville in order to offer claims guidance to policyholders.

Rob Whelan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ICA, held talks with Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad regarding the ICA’s catastrophe designation, insurance claims and also flood protection.

“I have explained that flood insurance cover is readily available to all householders and businesses in Townsville. This cover is risk rated, the same as in any other part of Australia.

Customers who decided against purchasing flood cover, or chose to opt out, should still lodge a claim through their insurer or insurance broker. Most policies include storm cover.

“Where flood cover was not purchased it will typically be tested by the insurer through an independent hydrology process. This will determine if the inundation that caused the damage is to be classified as flood water or as storm water. 

“The standard definition of flood, which applies to all household and small business policies, was established in 2012 to provide certainty to consumers and insurers. The definition includes water released from a dam, as well as a river breaking its banks,” said Whelan.

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