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Townsville, Queensland flood industry loss up 16% at A$1.217bn: PERILS


The insurance and reinsurance market loss to property lines of business from the Townsville area flooding in the Queensland region of Australia has been raised by 16% to A$1.217 billion (US $822m) by PERILS.

australia-townsville-floodsPreviously, PERILS had the estimated market loss to property insurance lines from the Townsville, Queensland flooding at A$1.041 billion.

The Queensland flooding event is among the largest natural catastrophe loss events of the first-half of 2019, as evidenced by recent results reports from the major reinsurance firms of the world.

PERILS AG, the Zurich based catastrophe loss data provider, only reports on property related insured damages in Australia, so as a result the overall toll for insurance and reinsurance interests is assumed higher than this.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) recently pegged the total insurance and reinsurance industry loss to all lines of business from the Townsville floods as A$1.243 billion (US $850m).

Hence, PERILS A$1.217 billion property lines only loss is actually quite high, it seems, given that the ICA said there have already been 4,529 domestic motor vehicle insurance claims closed and numerous business interruption claims as well.

This perhaps suggests that the overall loss to the insurance and reinsurance market is creeping higher.

PERILS latest data update comes soon after the results of its major data contributors in Australia and international players operating there, suggesting that their estimates for ultimate losses from these floods have likely risen further in recent months.

The Queensland, Australia flood event, which largely affected the city of Townsville, from 26th January 10th February 2019, saw a slow-moving monsoon system drive elevated 10-day rainfall totals of more than 2000 mm in some areas of Queensland. For the city of Townsville, the accumulated totals were the highest since records began in 1888.

Flooding caused severe damage to thousands of homes, businesses and public infrastructure in the Townsville area. Flooding was further exacerbated by the opening of spillway gates for the Ross River Dam, after the reservoir’s capacity exceeded 200%. Crop and agricultural losses were also significant from this flooding episode, which could also have driven more losses to some insurer.

PERILS industry loss estimate is now up by 27% since it first reported on these floods.

Darryl Pidcock, Head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, commented on the update, “This market loss footprint is another example of the PERILS value proposition to increase data availability for natural catastrophe events and to help the market better understand and manage natural catastrophe risks. The Townsville flood was a devastating event for the region and community rebuilding efforts continue. We hope that by providing this type of loss information to the market it enhances the understanding of flood risk in the region, enabling improvement in flood risk management and protection going forward.

“We remain grateful for the ongoing support of insurers, particularly as this report requires additional work to prepare the detailed loss information.”

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