The cost of Aussie disasters

Our premiums help pay the claims

At Austbrokers Terrace we are proud that our clients have largely been fortunate in respect to claims. This isn’t to say our policy holders are impervious to bad luck, it is more that most of our clients live in suburban Adelaide where we have been fortunate to escape some of the disasters that have impacted on areas around SA and Australia in general.

Insured losses for the four catastrophes declared over summer have moved past $550 million, the Insurance Council of Australia has said.

A “sharp rise in value” of losses related to the Great Ocean road bushfires that hit Victoria over Christmas has seen the damage bill raised.

Insured losses from the Victorian bushfires now stand at $110 million from 527 claims, compared with $88 million one month ago.

Rob Whelan, CEO of the ICA, said that the clean-up operation in the state is well underway with at least 15 sites cleaned up so far by contractors Grocon as the Victorian government’s own centralised clean-up operation will allow insurers to work quickly.

“Insurers can only commence rebuilding once each site has been cleared of debris, including asbestos materials,” Whelan said.

“The extremely steep terrain is presenting significant challenges, but insurers are determined to rebuild homes in the shortest time possible once the design and planning approval process is completed.”

Whelan noted that following the disaster, insurers may prioritise bushfire resilience for the area as some 235 homes were destroyed in the area.

“Each insurer has its own process for handling claims and rebuilding properties,” Whelan continued.

“In many cases, higher bushfire resilience building standards will be required, which may affect construction costs. Insurers will discuss rebuilding and settlement options available under the policy with each customer.

“Not all insurers are taking part in the centralised clean-up. Policyholders with questions about site clean-up and rebuilding should contact their insurer.”