Insurance losses at $201 million after Brisbane storm

THE Insurance Council of Australia says the estimated insurance losses from last week's hailstorm in Brisbane has reached $201 million.   

As at 10am on Monday December 1, 39,699 claims had been lodged by property and motor vehicle owners affected by the storm, 10,863 for house and contents claims and 28,814 for motor vehicles only.   

Insurace Council Australia (ICA) CEO Rob Whelan says the industry is focusing on fast-tracking claims and arranging  assessments.   

"Assessment teams began being deployed on Friday, and worked thoughout the weekend on prioritised claims, addressing those with the most acute needs first," Mr Wheelan said.   

"Some insurers are organising mass assessments to fast-track the inspection process and provide peace of mind to car owners."  

 James Marriott has had his apartment roof ripped off during the storm.  Photo: James Marriott via Twitter (@JasMarriott)
James Marriott has had his apartment roof ripped off during the storm. Photo: James Marriott via Twitter (@JasMarriott)

The ICA offers the following general advice to affected policyholders:  

  • Contact your insurance company as soon as you can, and seek advice about the claim 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 in coming days. 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