Australian hail industry losses jump another 26% to A$514m

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Insurance and perhaps reinsurance industry losses from the recent severe hail storm outbreaks across southeastern Australia have risen again, jumping another 26% to hit A$514 million (around US $355m) in the last day.

Hail stonesThe Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has warned to expect this total to continue to rise over the coming days, as claims from the severe and large hail storm event continue to flood in.

This outbreak of severe convective weather, thunderstorms, large hail and flooding affected a swathe of southeastern Australia over the weekend and into Monday.

By Tuesday, the industry insured losses from these storms had already been estimated at A$320 million by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), after it counted some 29,000 claims.

By yesterday the figure had jumped 27%, with the expected industry loss rising to A$407 million and the number of claims filed reaching more than 41,000.

Now, in a further rise of over 26%, the total estimated insurance industry loss has risen to A$514 million as of January 23rd, while the number of claims filed has reached more than 55,650.

Those claims are split with 53% filed from the major hail storm event being in the Australian Capital Territory, 30% in Victoria and 17% in New South Wales.

The ICA warned of this figure rising further and at this stage it does look like this severe convective weather and large hail event could become a significant enough loss to surpass some insurers retentions and eat into aggregate reinsurance layers.

It remains too early to speculate over the eventual industry loss impacts of this convective storms and large hail event, but the signs are the impacts to major insurers in the region will continue to increase.

Losses are forecast to rise and will add further pressure on insurers that are already facing high levels of claims from the ongoing bushfire situation in Australia, which also means that more claims could be passed onto the global reinsurance market.

Some Australian insurers have called on aggregate reinsurance arrangements to help them pay their bushfire losses. The impacts of this large hail event may also surpass these per-event retention levels on aggregate contracts, driving further reinsurance recoveries.

In addition, some of the largest insurers in Australia will continue to share some of these recent catastrophe loss burden with global players through their quota share reinsurance arrangements.

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