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Floods declared catastrophe by insurers

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Industry receives 10,000 claims worth $45 million in just a few hours after storms lash NSW and coastal Queensland.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared another weather-related catastrophe, this time for property losses caused by storms and flooding along the east coast.

It is the sixth catastrophe declared in five months after a summer of raging bushfires and storms.

Insurers are also monitoring the extent of insured damage in Western Australia's Pilbara region, which took a pummelling from Cyclone Damien over the weekend, the ICA says in a statement today.

Since February 5 storms have flooded southeast Queensland, NSW coastal regions and caused damage several hundred kilometres inland, and in the ACT.

An east coast low at the weekend brought drenching rain and strong winds to the Sydney basin, which had its heaviest rainfall in up to two decades.

By 7am this morning, insurers had received 10,000 claims estimated to be worth $45 million, the ICA said.

Most of the claims have come from Queensland and coastal NSW for property damage caused by storm runoff, flooding, strong winds and heavy rain.

Insurers are expecting more claims to pour in over the coming days as power and telecommunications are restored.

The weather deluge is not yet over either, with forecasters warning heavy rain and damaging winds will again lash Sydney and other parts of NSW.

A catastrophe declaration means claims will be given priority by insurers. The others were:

* Bushfires in NSW and Queensland in September resulted in 497 claims worth $37 million.

* In October, Rappville NSW bushfires led to 255 claims and insured losses of $19 million.

* More than 20,000 claims worth $1.65 billion were lodged for November to February bushfires that affected Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

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* Hailstorms in November in southeast Queensland prompted 22,000 claims worth $166 million.

* More hail in January in ACT, Victoria and NSW resulted in 69,850 claims worth $638 million.

Source: 9News

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