PERILS ups Australian East Coast Low insured losses by 17%
Insurance losses from the February 2020 Australian extratropical cyclone, which mainly affected the east coast states of New South Wales and Queensland, have been raised to A$958 million ($686.4 million).
Zurich-based catastrophe insurance data provider PERILS' latest estimates are 17 percent up from the earlier loss estimates of A$794 million issued in March and May 2020, respectively. The increase of A$164 million is due to the addition of A$100 million in property losses and the inclusion of motor losses for the first time which totalled A$64 million.
PERILS said the total industry event loss figure of A$958 million is based on detailed loss data collected from the majority of the Australian insurance market.
The Australian East Coast Low resulted in very intense rainfall, flash and river flooding and strong winds from early to mid-February 2020. It caused widespread damage primarily along the coastal areas of New South Wales (88 percent of the industry loss) and South East Queensland (11 percent of the industry loss). Property contributed the vast majority of losses with 93 percent attributable to this line of business, while motor losses represent some 7 percent of the total industry losses.
PERILS will reveal an updated estimate of the property market loss from the event on February 15, 2021, one year after the event’s end date.
Darryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, said: “This release is of particular market relevance as it is the first time a detailed industry loss footprint has been made available for an Australian East Coast Low event. The event was part of a very active Australian summer season which included the Australian Bushfire and Hailstorm events. The PERILS Database for Australia now contains detailed industry loss data for flood, tropical and extratropical cyclones, hail and bushfire events. In combination with the physical metrics of these Cat events and our Industry Exposure Database, this creates a comprehensive and unique data set for Australia. It is a perfect example of PERILS’ primary goal to increase data availability for the better understanding and management of natural catastrophe risk.”
He added: “We could not pursue our goal of increasing data availability without the support of our insurance partners. That support is vital to the ongoing evolution of best practice in the context of natural catastrophe risk management both in Australia and beyond.”