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PERILS lifts industry loss estimate for October 2022 Australian floods to AU $907m


Catastrophe data aggregator PERILS has released an updated insurance and reinsurance industry loss estimate for the October 2022 Southeast Australia floods of AU $907 million, up roughly 8% from the previous estimate reported in January.

australia-floodingThe initial, December loss report from PERILS for the flood event, which took place between October 12th to 28th, stood at AU $791 million. By January, this had risen 6% to AU $840 million, and has now increased further to the AU $907 million reported today, six months after the event.

The new figure is primarily comprised of personal lines property losses, which account for 65% of the total industry loss, with commercial lines property losses representing 25% of the loss, and motor losses 10%.

According to PERILS, 81% of the total industry loss relates to the state of Victoria, with New South Wales accounting for 14%, while losses in Tasmania, Queensland, and South Australia were moderate.

The “exceptionally wet and stormy weather” in October was caused by a series of low-pressure systems which connected with moist tropical air from warm surface water in the Pacific Ocean. The result was storms and extensive rainfall causing riverine and pluvial flooding mainly in the Murray-Darling basin of Victoria and New South Wales, and later in Tasmania.

PERILS notes that as the flood waters flowed across a fairly wide region, they affected numerous regional towns, particularly in Victoria and New South Wales, causing damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure, and agriculture.

Darryl Pidcock, Head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, commented, “While Australia is currently neither in a La Niña nor an El Niño phase, the October 2022 floods serve as a reminder of the considerable flood damage caused by La Niña during 2022 on the back of the largest Cat loss for the insurance industry, the floods in Eastern Australia of February-March 2022. In contrast to the March event, the October floods primarily impacted rural regions with comparably lower value concentrations. The extent of the affected area was however very large, impacting many towns across several states and causing extensive damage over a wide geographic area.

“With the release of this detailed industry loss footprint, we believe it provides an opportunity for the insurance industry to better understand flood risks in the impacted regional communities. We remain very grateful to our insurance partners for their continued support.”

One year after the event end date, on October 28th, 2023, PERILS will provide updated estimates of both the property and motor hull market loss from the flooding event.

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