Australian Storms Trigger ICA’s 5th Catastrophe Declaration for 2015

May 5, 2015

Thousands of claims, lodged from SE Queensland and Northern NSW storms, have now been declared catastrophes – the 5th such declaration this year – by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). Most of the insured damage was “caused by heavy rain and inundation in south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales between April 30 and May 3,” the ICA said.

Insurance companies have so far “received about 7500 claims with initial losses estimated at A$26 million [US$20.5 million]. Most claims are typical for storm damage (water entering homes due to leaking roofs and overflowing gutters, water damage to cars) though some properties have been inundated.”

ICA CEO Rob Whelan said: “East coast low-pressure systems can cause widespread damage, just like the system that caused havoc in NSW less than three weeks ago. This latest low has affected widespread areas of south-east Queensland and northern NSW.

“The flow of claims was initially slow over the weekend, but large numbers of claims were lodged on Sunday. Insurers expect many more will be lodged this week and are standing by to assist their customers.

“Insurers are also hearing the common urban myth that householders cannot clean up from storm and inundation damage. This is not true. Householders are allowed to remove and discard any water or mud-damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings. They should take pictures of all damage, and keep samples of materials and fabrics to show the assessor.”

Source: the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA)

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