Australia – PERILS Estimates AUD 840m Loss for New South Wales and Victoria Floods

PERILS, the independent Zurich-based organisation providing catastrophe insurance data disclosed its second industry loss estimate for devastating floods in Southeast Australia in October 2022.

Flooded homes in Victoria, Australia, October 2022. Photo: VICSES

The second estimate of the insurance market loss is AUD 840 million, PERILS disclosed in late January 2023. This compares to the initial loss estimate of AUD 791m which was issued some weeks earlier. The loss estimate includes losses from the property and vehicles and is based on loss data collected from the majority of the Australian insurance market.

The heavy precipitation triggered widespread riverine and pluvial flooding in the Murray-Darling basin of New South Wales and Victoria and later in Tasmania. The flood waters mainly affected rural areas and caused considerable damage to homes, businesses, infrastructure and agriculture.

Darryl Pidcock, Head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, commented: “The weather in Australia in 2022 was dominated by La Niña conditions which resulted in above-average rainfall in many regions of northern and eastern Australia. Both, the record floods of late February / early March and the floods of October 2022 are linked to this large-scale weather pattern, which is now in its third consecutive summer but anticipated to weaken in the coming months.”

He continued: “While the February-March floods impacted densely populated coastal regions, the October floods mostly affected inland rural areas and losses to the insurance industry were therefore significantly lower. For the affected communities they were still a heavy blow. We therefore hope that our work of systematic exposure and loss data collection can contribute to a better understanding of flood vulnerabilities also in such rural communities, and over time help to mitigate the impact of future events.”