Severe rain in north-east Australia causes devastating flooding
Powerful rain in north-eastern Australia has sparked severe flooding, turning streets into rivers, sweeping away cars and forcing families to evacuate. Monsoonal weather over a period of nearly two weeks resulted in widespread floods covering an area of up to 700 km, from Cairns to Mackay. This was further exacerbated when the barriers of the Ross River Dam were opened as part of a controlled release of water. At one stage the dam had been at nearly 250% capacity.
The city of Townsville, Northern Queensland, has been worst hit and thousands of homes and retail businesses have been flooded. As of 7 February 2019, the severe weather warning had been lifted and flood waters had begun to recede, allowing Crawford to deploy its team of adjusters to accessible properties. The army is helping with the emergency effort and there is a lack of basic supplies and surplus accommodation.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia, over 10,000 claims have already been received at an estimated value of $124m. The final number is expected to be much higher and we know of at least one domestic insurer which anticipates around 2,500 home insurance claims. We are in regular dialogue with clients that have exposures in the area, but the feedback so far is that it is still too early to assess the overall picture given that so many properties are still flooded. Our adjusters are working long hours and battling difficult conditions to help homeowners and businesses after this severe weather event. In addition to the logistical challenges, flood waters are highly contaminated and there have been regular crocodile and snake sightings along with an influx of mosquitoes. As always, Crawford is prioritising the safety of its employees, ensuring they take all possible measures to protect themselves as they assess the flood damage and work to restore lives, businesses and communities.
If you need more information about this event or should you need adjusting assistance, please see the relevant contact details on this market update.
Mobile: 0439 391 365
Direct: 03 8646 9654
Queensland State Manager
Mobile: 0439 024 585
Direct: 07 07 3230 4409
Mobile: 0429 138 857
Direct: 02 8022 7401