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Sydney storm costs continue to rise


The amount of claims and insured losses continues to rise following the storms which hit parts of New South Wales earlier this week.

With once major insurer announcing their own claims numbers yesterday, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has issued another estimate and announced that assessors are making their way to the hardest hit areas.

The ICA has received, as of 10am yesterday, 24,250 claims and insurance losses have been estimated at $161 million.

"Most of the claims received are for home and contents, mainly for light damage caused by rain and wind, with a small number of motor vehicle and commercial claims.

"These are early figures for this catastrophe, and insurers are standing by for many more claims to be lodged over the next few days,” CEO of the ICA, Rob Whelan, said.

"Assessors are starting to work through claims in the affected areas, and they are prioritising those policyholders who have suffered the worst damage where they can reach the insured property."

IAG has released its claims figures as of 11am on 23 April, the insurer has received over 10,000 claims in relation to storm damage across its various brands operating in the state.

A statement realised to the ASX, backed Whelan’s suggestion that the majority of claims are from the personal division as the insurer noted they have allocated over 7,000 jobs already.

Suncorp have also released that they are responding to more than 7,500 claims relating to the storm across their various brands in New South Wales and that they believe it is still too early to estimate costs.

Patrick Snowball, CEO of Suncorp Group, revealed that the company has placed an additional 100 contact centre representatives in areas around the state to aid customers and that repairers have already put safety measures in place at 450 properties.

“Making certain our customers are safe is the priority and we have implemented additional resources across out bank and insurance brands to ensure claims are processed as quickly as possible,” Snowball said.

“We are doing everything possible to make it easier for customers to lodge their claims and get the assistance they need.”

Suncorp’s Customer Response teams are currently active in Charlestown, near Newcastle, to help deal with the devastation in the area.

Whelan advised that those affected should contact their insurer or broker as soon as possible to ensure a quick resolution.

"When they are able to do so, I encourage insured householders and business operators to contact their insurer and lodge a claim. Once claims have been lodged the insurers can start providing the assistance they offer in their policies.

Whelan also warned against organising building work before an insurer has been consulted as these costs may not be covered under certain policies.

“Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy.

“Be wary of people going door to door offering to perform building repairs for cash. These are often opportunistic shysters whose work is unlikely to be up to standard and won't be covered by insurance." 


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