How you can save on insurance after string of catastrophes
From bushfires to hailstorms and flooding, it was the most destructive and the most expensive summer on record for insurance companies.
Six catastrophic events in five months have left insurers with a $4.6 billion bill that continues to grow.
From bushfires to hailstorms and flooding, it was the most destructive and the most expensive summer on record for insurance companies and home owners are set to be hit with higher premiums as a result.
New figures from the Insurance Council of Australia show the cost of disasters from September last year to the extraordinary flooding event in February has already resulted in more than $4.6 billion worth of claims.
The most recent bushfires alone resulted in an estimated $2.26 billion in losses – the insurance industry has already paid out $1.4 billion.
But the flipside is those insurers most exposed to the horror summer will look at recouping some of their costs.
Insurance Council of Australia chief Rob Whelan has told a parliamentary committee hearing most of the 242,000 claims were for damage, destruction of family homes, cars and belongings.
"This was the worst natural disaster season on record," he said on Tuesday.
Insurers have supplied $1.4 billion in repairs, rebuilds, new contents, cash settlements and financial support in bushfire-hit areas.
Images of thousands of people fleeing flames and trapped on the shores of Mallacoota were spread worldwide at the start of the year.
Mr Whelan says an air force flight was organised so insurers and damage assessors could access the cut-off town.
"They borrowed cars from locals, looked at more than 100 homes and businesses, and provided one-on-one guidance to their customers," he said.
While insurers are still able to provider services in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, having staff working from home and call centres closed has increased response times.
About 3000 claims regarding loss of rental income are currently being assessed.
The Insurance Council's head of risk and operations Karl Sullivan said pursuing tenants for unpaid rent was a matter for individual insurers.