The property insurance market loss from the Australia’s Townsville floods, which affected northern Queensland, Australia, between Jan. 26 and Feb. 10, 2019, has risen to A$1.22 billion (US$827.1 million), according to PERILS, the independent Zurich-based organization that provides catastrophe insurance data.
This third property loss estimate issued by PERILS has risen from the second loss estimate of A$1.041 billion (US$706 million), which was issued by PERILS on May 10, 2019, three months after the event. In line with the PERILS’ event definition, the PERILS loss number covers the property line of business only. Losses from motor and other lines of business are not included.
The Townsville floods were the result of a slow-moving monsoon system which brought exceptional rainfall to northern Queensland in late January and early February 2019. The Australian Bureau of Meterology reported numerous sites in elevated areas that experienced 10-day rainfall accumulations of more than 200 millimeters (7.9 inches).
The event loss information is provided by postcode and by property lines of business and is complemented with postcode level rain and flood metrics provided by JBA Risk Management and Risk Frontiers. By combining the loss information with PERILS market sums insured, damage degrees as a percentage of sums insured can be derived and correlated with the flood metrics, PERILS said. This enables users to validate vulnerability functions in probabilistic catastrophe models with actual, high quality and independent market data, among other uses.
The city of Townsville registered the highest totals from consecutive days since records began in 1888. The resulting impact on the insurance industry represents the highest flood loss figure since the Brisbane Floods in 2011.
“This market loss footprint is another example of the PERILS value proposition to increase data availability for natural catastrophe events and to help the market better understand and manage natural catastrophe risks,” commented Darryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia-Pacific.
“The Townsville flood was a devastating event for the region and community rebuilding efforts continue. We hope that by providing this type of loss information to the market it enhances the understanding of flood risk in the region, enabling improvement in flood risk management and protection going forward,” he added.
In line with the PERILS loss reporting schedule, the fourth loss estimate for the Townsville floods will be released on Feb. 10, 2020, 12 months after the event.
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