Australian hail insured loss rises another 24% to A$638m

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Losses from the severe hailstorms that struck southeastern Australia in January continue to rise, with the latest insurance industry loss estimate now 24% higher at A$638 million.

Hail stonesAn outbreak of severe convective weather, thunderstorms, large hail and flooding affected a swathe of southeastern Australia between January 18th and 20th, with large hail the main cause of damage.

By the January 21st, 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.

A day later 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.

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

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has now updated its figures again, with the insured loss reaching A$638 million, an increase of 24% and the number of claims filed reaching almost 70,000.

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

This severe hail storm event in Australia has now hit the reinsurance market, as Australian primary insurer IAG said it will make a claim under its calendar year 2020 main catastrophe reinsurance program, that provides it with per-occurrence protection for the recent hailstorm events. IAG said its gross loss impact could even surpass A$250 million.

In addition, insurer Suncorp recently said an “unprecedented” start to the season for catastrophe losses (including this hail event) meant it expects to make recoveries across its reinsurance program, including its main program, drop-downs and aggregate reinsurance including perhaps its stop-loss.

Some of the largest insurers in Australia will continue to share losses from recent catastrophe events including this severe hail storm with global players through their quota share reinsurance arrangements as well.

There are likely to be further increases in claims and losses from this severe hail event over time.

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