STORM CLAIMS PASS $800 MILLION

Written on the 8 December 2014

STORM CLAIMS PASS $800 MILLION

THE CATASTROPHIC weather event that ripped through Brisbane two weeks ago has accrued a damage bill of more than $800 million, reports the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). 

86,800 claims have been lodged by property and motor vehicle owners affected by the hailstorm - 22,000 for house and contents policies, 4000 for commercial property and business, 58,000 for domestic motor vehicles and 2800 commercial motor claims.

The $804 million damage bill is significantly upwards revision from Queensland transport minister Scott Emerson's initial estimate of $100 million.

Premier Campbell Newman announced that the storm was Brisbane's worst since 1985, with the worst-hit areas Moorooka and Annerley. 

In one of the biggest storms of the past few decades, at its height more than 90,000 homes across Brisbane were without power, planes were flipped at Archerfield airport, homes torn through and flash flooding occurred throughout the region.

The ICA has declared a catastrophic weather event in light of Category 2 cyclonic winds at 140 km per hour.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan says insurers were not expecting shortages in trades, services and supplies during the recovery-repair process.

"Brisbane is a large urbanised international city with plenty of trades, services and supplies available and insurers are not expecting significant delays to the recovery-repair process," Mr Whelan says.

"With this number of claims we ask residents and motor vehicle owners to be patient as insurers work through the claims process.

"We urge affected policyholders to lodge their claim and work with the insurer to finalise quotes and repairs promptly."

Queensland premier Campbell Newman echoed this sentiment regarding the storms scope.

"The belief is that this is bigger than The Gap storm (2008), I think that's safe to say," says Newman. "I'm calling it the biggest storm to hit Brisbane since 1985."

The ICA's disaster hotline is 1800 734 621. Insurers are prioritising claims from the hailstorm.


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