NSW storm losses estimated at $129 million and expected to rise: Insurance Council of Australia

As areas of NSW, including the Central Coast, Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra regions are battered by heavy storms, damages have been estimated to tip near $129 million by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and are expected to rise. 

So far insurance companies have received more than 19,500 claims, with the majority of claims coming through for low-level property damage from water and wind damage to homes and damage to cars. However, insurers are also receiving claims for severe damage to houses and roofs.

Insurance Council CEO Rob Whelan explained that as home owners and businesses assess the damage to their properties and lodge claims with their insurer or through their insurance broker more claims will come through. 

“All claims from these storms will be prioritised. Insurers are focused on handling claims and undertaking assessments as soon as possible,” he said. 

Here are the Insurance Council of Australia’s top disaster recovery tips: 

1. While conditions are severe, stay indoors and keep clear of windows 

2. Stay away from storm-damaged areas and property until emergency services declare it is safe to return 

3. Follow local media reports to get as much information as possible 

4. Stay away from downed power lines, poles and wires, and fallen trees 

5. Avoid entering floodwater on foot or in a vehicle. Floodwater can contain raw sewage and contaminants, conduct electricity and can mask hidden hazards. It can be deeper than you may suspect, and may be flowing rapidly 

6. Check your home for damage. If you need help from state emergency services volunteers call your local SES unit. If in a life-threatening emergency contact 000 

7. Avoid turning the power on at your home if there is flooding or water damage. Have a professional conduct a thorough inspection first 

8. If your home is unsafe, notify your local authorities and check with your insurance company whether you can claim temporary housing expenses 

9. Contact your insurer as soon as you are able to lodge a claim. If you are not insured, your recovery will depend upon your own resources and assistance that may be available from government or non-government agencies. To ensure you are financially protected in the future, Mozo advises NSW residents to compare home and contents insurance here

10. Speak to your insurer before you attempt or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs, and ask for the insurer’s permission in writing. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy