Townsville, Queensland flooding loss hits A$1.243bn (US$850m): ICA

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The insurance and reinsurance industry loss resulting from the Townsville area flooding in the Queensland region of Australia earlier this year has now risen to a new high at A$1.243 billion (US $850m), according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

australia-townsville-floodsStill, only 60% of claims have now been closed from the flooding event, suggesting the final tally for the industry will be higher still.

ICA Head of Risk and Operations Karl Sullivan explained that insurers have now received 29,935 claims since the flooding catastrophe was declared on February 2nd.

Estimated insurance market losses now stand at A$1.243 billion as a result and insurers have now paid over $521 million in repairs, rebuilding works, replacement items, services, business interruption, emergency accommodation and settlements.

Over three-quarters of 4,529 domestic motor vehicle insurance claims are now closed, 60 per cent of 9,213 contents claims are closed, almost half of 12,850 home building claims are closed and 45 per cent of critical home building claims have been closed, so far.

Sullivan commented, “Since the catastrophe struck the region, the insurance industry has kept its focus on assisting Townsville’s recovery. It is ahead of its past response times for a natural disaster of this size despite the remoteness of the city.

“Insurance assessors and ICA staff were on the first flights into the city when the airport reopened, and the industry has maintained a constant presence in the city to help businesses and property owners. Several insurance companies have a permanent presence in the city or have set up shops to help their customers when they need it. However, the industry acknowledges a small number of customers may be experiencing issues.”

It’s understood that some attritional loss did flow into certain insurance-linked securities (ILS) funds and collateralised reinsurance vehicles, particularly quota share investors, due to the Townsville, Australia flood loss.

PERILS AG estimated in May that the insurance and reinsurance industry loss just to property lines of business (so excluding auto lines) from the floods had reached A$1.041 billion (US$710m).

It seems these figures, from the ICA and PERILS, will both have a little further to rise as claims continue to be closed down.

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