Mallacoota, Victoria prepares for recovery after extensive damage caused by bushfires in Australia
UPDATE — 22 January 2019
Efforts are continuing to make the town of Mallacoota operational in the wake of the extensive damage caused by wildfires that burned through the area on New Year’s Eve and over the following days.
At this stage, it is estimated that the fires have destroyed approximately 200 buildings in addition to causing widespread damage to infrastructure, including power, communication towers, and roads. At present, access to the stricken region is only possible as part of pre-arranged convoys – although it is expected that later this week (January 23/24) the road to Mallacoota via Eden may be free to travel with pre-arranged permits.
Working closely with the authorities, including the military, and with regional and local insurers and brokers, Crawford adjusters were able to gain access to the town on 18 January for a short period. As some of the first adjusters to enter the area, we have been able to conduct initial assessments of the damage caused to a number of properties.
As the access to Mallacoota opens up in the coming days, we will expand our onsite presence and will conduct detailed examinations of the affected residential and commercial properties, as well as general infrastructure.
We are 100 percent focused on helping those individuals, business and communities affected by this devastating event. Across the country, our teams are currently handling hundreds of claims, with multiple new loss notifications being received daily.
Working closely with our insurers and brokers, our aim is to provide support to the families and business owners affected and ensure a swift and speedy response.
UPDATE — 7 January 2019
The devastation from the bushfires has worsened during the past week with new fires developing in Victoria and Tasmania. Several fires in New South Wales merged and spread to cause further damage. Our thoughts are with the brave firefighters and people affected by this catastrophic event.
More than 12 million acres (five million hectares) have been destroyed. In New South Wales (NSW) alone, 8.9 million acres of forest and bush has been destroyed, while more than 1.8 million acres have been burned in Victoria. The fires are so large and fierce that they are generating their own weather systems and causing dry lightning strikes that in turn ignite more bush.
Most recently, significant damage has been occasioned around Batemans Bay in NSW, Mallacoota in Victoria and about one-third of Kangaroo Island in South Australia has been burnt. Residents of Mallacoota were rescued off the beach by the Australian Navy and taken to Melbourne.
Reports suggest that there are now in excess of 1,700 structures destroyed with 1,300 of these in New South Wales alone. The full extent of damage is still being established as many areas in Southern NSW and Victoria are not accessible. The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) report that over 6,000 bushfire-related claims have been lodged across NSW, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. The ICA estimate that up to 80% of the homes destroyed is under-insured.
Claim numbers have started to increase significantly this week given the extent of the devastation and as residents affected by the fires return to their properties. In response to the expanding crisis, Crawford has implemented its CAT response plans as it works with insurers and those directly impacted to handle the growing number of bushfire claims.
We have been extremely fortunate in that despite the scale of the losses our country-wide network of adjusters remains fully operational and to date, none of our offices have been directly impacted.
Our teams are operating in all of the affected regions and are currently handling hundreds of claims. The majority of these relate to losses in NSW, South Australia, and Victoria, with additional claims from regions including Western Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania.
However, due to limited access to affected areas, we will not be able to deploy our adjusters immediately but whilst we may be restricted in our visits we are in contact with those stricken to lend assistance and advice. As soon as the local authorities grant permission then we will be on-site to start restoring lives, businesses and communities.
UPDATE — 3 January 2019
Crawford remains in shock at the unprecedented bushfire catastrophe that has more recently swept across the East Gippsland region and the north-east border of Victoria and New South Wales. Our thoughts are with the brave firefighters, families, and volunteers of all involved, particularly those that remain in extreme danger and are being evacuated from terrifying conditions over the weekend.
We continue to receive new claims daily and we are doing everything we can to provide support to the families and business owners affected.
Our various teams are working together to ensure a swift and caring response to this tragic event.
For more information about Crawford’s response contact our team:
Victoria & Tasmania State Manager
M +61 418 821 190 | T: +61 8 8378 4603
New South Wales State Manager
Crawford Claims Solutions
M: +61 437 070 629 | T: +61 7 8202 7474
South Australia State Manager
Crawford Claims Solutions
M: +61 477 387 031 | T: +61 8 8378 4600
National Catastrophe Manager & Queensland Operations Manager
M: +61 437 070 629 | T: +61 7 3230 4400
UPDATE — 23 December 2019
The bushfires in Australia are now burning in five different states with emergency services warning that at least 60 fires are out of control.
The bushfires have tragically killed nine people and razed hundreds of homes since September. Balmoral which is approximately 75 miles from Sydney with around 150 houses has been virtually destroyed and a further 86 homes were burnt down in the Adelaide Hills area.
Firefighters are struggling to contain bushfires across several states amid dry and hot conditions.
The Australian wine industry has experienced a horrendous start to the growing season with many vineyards ravaged by bushfires and others at increased risk of being tainted by bushfire smoke. Crawford has considerable expertise at helping vineyard owners and our team has previously identified steps to restore damaged vines to help bring the vineyard to its full capacity quickly.
Our adjusters have been working on bushfire claims since September and will continue to support communities at this traumatic time. Our Crawford Forensic Accountancy Services adjusters are already responding to a number of business interruption and denial of access claims and prepared to respond to further claims.
ORIGINAL POST — 18 November 2019
Crawford mobilised its teams to restore and enhance lives, businesses and communities in bushfire affected areas of New South Wales. Our thoughts are with those who are dealing with the emotional and physical consequences of this event.
Crawford has the capacity to attend to your customers who experience damage relating to the bushfires in NSW. Adjusters from our NSW office and our regional network around the country have been mobilised to assist with this event.
Crawford Global Technical Services (GTS) has a number of NSW GTS adjusters on standby and will also mobilise GTS adjusters from around the country if necessary. A number of Crawford Forensic Accountancy Services adjusters are available to travel or support the GTS lead adjusters remotely should we start to receive a denial of access claims.
For more information about the Crawford response contact Andrew Meager, NSW State Manager or Mark Mellor, Crawford’s National Catastrophe Manager.
New South Wales State Manager, General Adjusting, Crawford Claims Solutions
M: +61 437 070 629
T: +61 7 8202 7474
National Catastrophe Manager and Queensland Operations Manager, General Adjusting
M: +61 437 070 629
T: +61 7 3230 4400
Head of Crawford Claims Solutions, Australia
M: +61 434 560 803
T: +61 2 8202 7456
Dr Martin Miller
Director, National Global Technical Services, Global Head of Crawford Forensic Accounting Services
M: +61 402 021 468
T: +61 7 3230 4403
M: +61 429 138 857T: +61 2 8022 7401