Australia – Insurance Council Declares Catastrophe for Victoria Floods

The representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia has declared an insurance catastrophe for the flooding in the state of Victoria that struck from 10 June 2021.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said the Catastrophe Declaration serves to escalate and prioritise the insurance industry’s response for affected policyholders.

The impact of the flooding has been felt most significantly in Gippsland around Traralgon and in the Yarra Ranges, however the declaration covers all claims related to the event last week.

The declaration means that claims from affected policyholders will be given priority by insurers and urgent assistance to the worst-affected property owners.

ICA representatives will be mobilised to work with local agencies and services and affected policyholders as soon as emergency services say it is safe to do so, and a disaster hotline has been activated – 1800 734 621 – to assist policyholders if they are uncertain of their insurance details or have general inquiries about the claims process.

Andrew Hall, CEO, Insurance Council of Australia, said, “It’s too early to understand the extent of the damage to property in affected areas and to estimate the insurance damage bill, however insurers have received more than 6,500 claims in the past few days.

“The insurance industry has made this Catastrophe Declaration to activate services and support for affected homeowners and businesses and reassure them that their insurer is there to help.

“As many areas are currently inaccessible due to floodwater, insurers are expecting further claims in coming days as emergency services allow residents to return to their properties to examine the extent of their damage and losses.”