Halloween hailstorm claims progress


News release

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) figures released today show that almost 90 per cent of Halloween Hailstorm insurance claims have now been closed.

Sunday will mark one year since the devastating storm that resulted in more than $1 billion in claims, with 88 per cent of those claims now resolved.

More than 44,000 claims for storm and hail damage from the 31 October 2020 extreme weather event have been lodged with insurers. Claims are still being lodged, with 1,000 claims submitted in the past eight weeks.

The $1.08 billion in insurance claims includes:

  • 17,500 private and commercial motor vehicle claims
  • 20,660 home building claims for damage to roofs, solar panels, guttering, walls, and internal water damage
  • 4,500 home contents claims
  • 1,400 commercial property and crop claims

Over the past 12 months the ICA has hosted three community events to provide guidance and assistance to local policyholders via hundreds of in-person consultations for policyholders.

While insurers have made significant progress over the past two months and expect to finalise further claims in coming weeks, claims processing following the hailstorm was impacted by external factors, including:

  • A shortage of builders, roofers and tradespeople available for repair work
  • Shortages of timber, roof tiles and other essential building materials
  • COVID border restrictions impacting the movement of insurance personnel into SE Queensland

The insurance industry typically mobilises up to 500 staff after a natural disaster to support recovery efforts but is still facing constraints deploying staff into Queensland should a disaster of the scale of the Halloween hailstorm occur before the State’s borders open on 17 December.

Quote attributable to ICA CEO Andrew Hall:

Insurers have been working hard to catch up on claims processing and it’s pleasing that we’re now at a closure rate of almost 90 per cent.

However, the Bureau of Meteorology has said widespread flooding, coastal flooding and erosion, tropical cyclones, and marine heatwaves are all more likely over coming months.

Families, businesses, and communities rely on insurance disaster responders from interstate or overseas in the aftermath of natural disasters – without them, recovery is delayed with significant personal, social, and economic impacts.

That’s why the ICA has called on state and federal governments to urgently agree to a nationally consistent approach to the movement of fully vaccinated insurance disaster responders across state borders.


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