Insurance Council of Australia – News release

Saturday, 26 February 2022

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared an Insurance Catastrophe for Southeast Queensland impacted by severe weather and flooding that has occurred since 21 February.

Record flood levels in the Mary River system and flood levels not seen since 2013 across many other catchments are expected.

The ICA’s Catastrophe declaration serves to escalate and prioritise the insurance industry’s response for affected policyholders.

Under the Catastrophe declaration:

  • Claims from affected policyholders will be given priority by insurers
  • Claims will be triaged to direct urgent assistance to the worst-affected property owners
  • The ICA’s disaster hotline has been activated 1300 728 228 to assist policyholders if they are uncertain of their insurance details or have general inquiries about the claims process (please note: this is not a claims lodgement service)
  • ICA representatives will be mobilised to work with local agencies and services and affected policyholders as soon as emergency services say it is safe to do so
  • Insurers will mobilise disaster response specialists to assist affected customers with claims and assessments as soon as emergency services say it is safe to
  • An industry taskforce has been established to identify and address issues arising from this catastrophe
  • The insurance industry has made this Catastrophe Declaration to activate services and support for affected homeowners and businesses and reassure them that their insurer is there to help

The impact of the flooding has been felt most significantly in Southeast Queensland however the declaration covers all claims related to the ongoing severe weather and flooding into the northern regions of NSW over the last few days.

Quote attributable to Andrew Hall, CEO, Insurance Council of Australia:

Insurers’ first priority is community safety, and so we strongly encourage all those impacted by this severe weather and flooding event to ensure they do not undertake any activity themselves that may put their safety at risk.  Avoid travel wherever possible and contact your energy provider or an electrician to check your electricity supply if your home has been flooded.

It’s too early to understand the extent of the damage to property in affected areas and to estimate the insurance damage bill, however insurers have received more than 3,500 claims in Southeast Queensland over the last three days.

The insurance industry has made this Catastrophe declaration to activate services and support for affected homeowners and businesses and reassure them that their insurer is there to help.

As many areas are currently inaccessible due to damage and floodwater and evacuation orders in Gympie, insurers are expecting further claims in coming days as emergency services allow residents to return to their properties to examine the extent of their damage and losses.’

Impacted individuals can read more on what do when you return to your property after flood, here.

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