By Alice Uribe
SYDNEY--The storms and flooding that hit South-East Queensland and coastal New South Wales in February and March is estimated to have been Australia's costliest flood ever, according to the country's insurance trade association.
The Insurance Council of Australia on Tuesday said that using actual claims costs from 197,000 claims across both states, the event is estimated to have cost 3.35 billion Australian dollars (US$2.36 billion) in insured losses.
"We knew that this year's east coast flooding was one of the biggest floods in our history, but these updated numbers show that in monetary terms it was in fact the biggest ever. Only four other disasters have cost more, and this is not a record we want to beat," said ICA CEO Andrew Hall.
According to the ICA, on values normalized to 2017, this is event is the fifth most costly disaster after the Eastern Sydney Hailstorm (1999, A$5.57 billion), Cyclone Tracey (1974, A$5.04 billion), Cyclone Dinah (1967, A$4.69 billion) and the Newcastle Earthquake (1989, A$4.24 billion).
The rise in claims costs compared with previous floods can be attributed to higher costs in the Personal Property, Personal Contents and Commercial Property classes reflecting the increased cost of materials and a challenging supply chain environment, the ICA said.
Property costs made up 86.4% of claims, while motor claims and other claims made up 13% and 0.6%, respectively. More than 11% of claims have already been closed and A$580 million has already been paid to policyholders, the ICA said.
Write to Alice Uribe at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires