23 January 2019

Summer holiday time in Australia always seems to throw up a severe weather event or natural disaster somewhere around the Country. People who work in the property and motor vehicle claims areas of insurance companies are always on stand by and never seem to get a quiet holiday period to complete all those administrative tasks that they put off all year.

For 10 days between the 12th and 22nd December a severe weather front caused flooding, hail and storm damage across parts of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania including the massive hail storm experienced in Sydney on 20th December.

Insured losses from this weather event have topped $871 million* and will continue to rise over the coming months.

Unfortunately for summer holiday makers it is a common occurrence. On 21st December 2017 Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria were hit by storms.

Summer 2017/2018 fared no better. Sydney hit by storms on 16th December and Christmas day was soured by bushfires along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

In January 2015 Brisbane was hit by a hail storm and bushfires raged in South Australia.

Each time a major loss event occurs in Australia the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) allocates a catastrophe code. The recent weather event was the fifth and final catastrophe of 2018 declared by the ICA and the 135th catastrophe declared since records began. March 2018 saw multiple catastrophes declared with storms in north Queensland ($16.8 million in insured losses*), bushfires in New South Wales and Victoria ($82.5 million in insured losses*) and Tropical Cyclone Marcus ($62 million insured losses*) hitting Darwin and surrounds.  It was Tasmania’s turn in May 2018 as storms (99.6 million in insured losses*) hit Hobart.

We hope the weather will give policyholders a break for the rest of the summer period and that 2019 is a catastrophe free year.

*figures current as at 21/01/2019


Vanessa Collins

Manager – Agency/Compliance