1 March 2012

Insurers anticipate $111m in claims for south-west Queensland catastrophe

Insurance companies have reserved $111 million for payouts or repairs for damage to homes, rural properties, vehicles and businesses in south-west Queensland caused by inundation in late January and early February.

Figures supplied by member companies to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) show 5657 claims have been lodged from policyholders in the region, including those in or around Roma, St George, Mitchell and Charleville.

ICA Chief Executive Rob Whelan said the figures were an early indication of the widespread damage caused by the inundation, and the insurance bill could go higher as more property owners lodged claims.

“By now an insurance assessor should have been in contact with most policyholders who have decided to lodge a claim for property damage, and insurers are busy processing these claims,” he said.    

“Insurers understand this is a stressful time for thousands of Queenslanders and they are focused on resolving claims as swiftly as possible to enable communities to recover.

“With access to some areas still a problem, there may be delays in assessors reaching some policyholders. In these cases we ask the affected policyholders to remain patient.”

If you’re not sure about which insurer you’re with, or have general inquiries about the claims process, call the ICA disaster hotline on 1800 734 621. News editors please note:
• A relatively small number of claims have been received for inundated areas of northern New South Wales and the ICA has not declared this to be a catastrophe
• The ICA has updated its catastrophe data for the Christmas Day storms in Melbourne, with 104,320 claims having been lodged and insurance losses estimated at $669 million  

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