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Catastrophe claims reach $3.42 billion in nine months


Total insurance claims for catastrophes which have hit Australia since last November have now reached $3.42 billion, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).


Claims for the severe NSW storms which hit Sydney and surrounding areas in April have reached $801.7 million, an ICA spokesman told About 119,935 claims have been lodged for the NSW storms, with 78% of them for domestic losses such as residential property and contents.

The Sydney hailstorm on Anzac Day resulted in 14,239 claims worth $389.8 million being lodged with insurers. About 78% of the total is for commercial losses, because the storm hit mainly semi-industrial areas.

Severe storms which hit southeast Queensland early last month generated $360.2 million in insurance losses, from 27,825 claims, 80% of them for domestic losses and the rest commercial.

Insurance losses for the Brisbane hailstorm last November are still the most costly of the six most recent catastrophes. About 121,195 claims have been lodged for $1.35 billion, 62% of them for domestic losses.

The second-biggest event remains February’s Tropical Cyclone Marcia, which has generated 36,483 claims worth $518.09 million, with about 64% of them for domestic losses and the rest for commercial claims, mostly in Queensland.

Last month ICA declared last month’s southeast Queensland storms the fifth catastrophe this calendar year, following the Anzac Day hailstorm in Sydney, NSW storms in April, Cyclone Marcia in February and the SA bushfires in January.

The highest number of catastrophes in a calendar year is 2011, when eight catastrophes cost the insurance industry a total of $4.9 billion.