Townsville, Queensland flood loss rises to A$1.041bn: PERILS

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The insurance and reinsurance industry loss to property lines of business from the Townsville area flooding in the Queensland region of Australia is now estimated to have risen to A$1.041 billion (US$730m).

australia-townsville-floodsThe Queensland flooding event was perhaps the largest single natural catastrophe loss event of the first-quarter of 2019, as evidenced by recent results reports from the major reinsurance firms of the world.

As PERILS AG, the Zurich based catastrophe loss data provider, only reports on property related insured damages in Australia, it’s assumed the overall toll for insurance and reinsurance interests is higher.

The Insurance Council of Australia recently said that its claims data shows that 90% of the loss is due to property damage, with the remainder largely auto lines of insurance business.

As a result, it’s likely safe to add at least an additional A$100m to PERILS figure to get closer to the true industry impact.

This is PERILS second loss estimate for the Queensland flood event, which largely affected the city of Townsville, from 26th January 10th February 2019.

A slow-moving monsoon system drove elevated 10-day rainfall totals of more than 2000mm in some areas of Queensland. For the city of Townsville, the accumulated totals were the highest since records began in 1888.

Flooding from the Ross and Bohle rivers 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 have also been significant from this flooding episode, which could also have driven more losses to some insurer.

PERILS estimate has risen by 9% since it first pegged the insured cost of the floods at A$957 million.

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