2 December 2014

Brisbane hailstorm update: insured losses pass $300 million

Brisbane hailstorm update: insured losses pass $300 million                              

As at 9am (Queensland time) today, 59,970 claims have been lodged by property and motor vehicle owners affected by the hailstorm – 15,020 for house and contents claims and 42,950 for motor vehicle.

Estimated insurance losses now stand at $304 million.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan said 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 said.

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

“If you require guidance about assessment and rebuilding timeframes, please contact your insurer.

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

The ICA continues to liaise closely with local and state government agencies, emergency services and community groups to help identify issues and resolve them as swiftly as possible.

Mr Whelan said though the Christmas-New Year shutdown may see some trades and supplies businesses closed, insurers do not expect this to significantly affect the claims process, and insurers will work with their clients to achieve the best outcomes.

The ICA offers the following general advice to affected policyholders:

·         Contact your insurance company as soon as you can, and seek advice about the claims process under your policy, as well as what you’re covered for. Many insurers have 24-hour call centres

·         Don’t be concerned if insurance documents are not readily at hand. Insurance companies keep records electronically and require only the policyholder’s name and address to find a policy

·         If your home is unsafe, notify local authorities and check with your insurance company whether you can claim temporary housing expenses

·         Speak to your insurer before authorising repairs. Emergency repairs should only be undertaken in the first instance to make the property safe. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy

·         Don't drive storm-damaged motor vehicles that may be unroadworthy. Hail-damaged vehicles will be professionally assessed by insurers. Inform your insurer when you lodge a claim if your vehicle cannot be driven

·         Take pictures of damage to the property and possessions as evidence for your claim assessor

·         You can remove and discard any water or mud-damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings, but take photos and keep samples of materials and fabrics to show the assessor

·         Making an inventory of damaged possessions will help insurers process your claim

The ICA's disaster hotline - 1800 734 621 – can help affected residents and motor vehicle owners who are not sure which insurer they are with, or who have general inquiries about the claims process.



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