Insurance catastrophe declared in SA, VIC and Tasmania after October storms

Person sitting with cup of tea and blankets, looking out the window as it rains and considering insurance claim.
Photo by Amin Hasani on Unsplash

Earlier this week the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) extended its declaration of an ‘insurance catastrophe’ in South Australia to include areas impacted by the same storm cell in Victoria and Tasmania. 

This comes after giant hail and severe winds caused significant damage across parts of each state. The aim of ICA’s declaration is for insurance providers to prioritise impacted policyholders in these areas, as claims on home insurance, car insurance and business cover stack up.

On Monday, ICA had recorded almost 24,000 claims lodged by South Australians, 12,000 by Victorians and 100 by Tasmanians – all figures which they expect to rise. Due to these claim volumes and other supply chain issues, many insurance companies are advising customers that properties may not be repaired by Christmas.

With this in mind, ICA has warned property owners to be on the lookout for ‘disaster chasers’. The Council says these people or groups may offer services like tree and debris removal for up-front cash payment, but often do a sub-par job or completely abandon the project before it’s completed. 

Disaster chasers often don’t have a building licence, professional indemnity insurance or trade qualifications. Asking for these forms of ID can help you spot them, and your insurance provider may be able to assist you if you unknowingly sign up for their services.

More wet weather on the way for VIC and NSW

If you live in north-west Victoria or western NSW, thunderstorms may bring more damaging winds, hail and flash flooding over the next week. While the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) isn’t anticipating weather as severe as October, it could be worth following the SES guide on preparing your property to withstand storms and checking exactly what’s covered under your insurance policy.

Start by reading our guide to car insurance for storm and hail damage and these essential questions about home insurance and flooding. If you’re not satisfied with your current property cover, you can check out what’s offered by the home insurance policies below for comparison.

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