flooding NSW
The floods have been labelled as a once-in-a century event. Image – Canva
  • Wednesday had the damage bill at just under $250M from 17,000 claims
  • Continues to rise with now over 22,000 claims lodged
  • Warnings the final bill could be over $1B

As of Wednesday, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) estimated the total value of claims across both NSW and Queensland to be at $245.2 million based on previous similar events.

On Wednesday morning, the ICA said more than 17,000 claims had been formally lodged with 85% of these coming from New South Wales with the balance being policyholders in South East Queensland.

This was a large jump from Monday when 5,000 claims had been lodged.

Since then this has been revised further with many reports suggesting the final bill could be well over a billion dollars.

As of late yesterday, the ICA revised the number of claims lodged to 22,000.

Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Laurieton and Taree and areas west of Sydney around Penrith and the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley are currently the areas with the most claims, according to the ICA.

The news comes as affected areas in South East Queensland now fall under the ICA’s ‘insurance catastrophe’, meaning policyholders in this area will receive similar prioritised assistance to those directly affected by the floods in NSW.

Flooding that occurred when the drought broke in NSW last year cost nearly $1 billion, which suggests it may not be an exaggeration that the final damage bill will be in the ten-figures.

Additionally, the 2011 Queensland floods, which affected over 38,000 residents and businesses including 20,000 in Brisbane, had an insurance of bill of $1.5 billion.

Sam Kernaghan, the Committee for Sydney’s resilience program director, strongly believes statewide the bill could be $2 billion – a figure which he says doesn’t even consider the uninsured costs of the floods.

“Over the past decade, insurers have improved their ability to assess the risk of specific households, which means pricing risk more highly for those most at-risk. That means much higher insurance costs for many in the floodplain. Anecdotally, many have given up.”

Sam Kernaghan, Committee for Sydney

Unfortunately, there will be more to come…

In the meantime, stay safe everyone.

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