Brought to you by:
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Bushfires: ICA extends catastrophe zone to Queensland areas

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has expanded its bushfire catastrophe zone to include Yeppoon and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland as the state braces for weather conditions to worsen in the coming days.

ICA announced the move today as the number of claims including from the NSW fire catastrophe rose by nearly 100 to 450 as of this afternoon, while insured losses have climbed to at least $50 million.

IAG has received more than 259 claims, a spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au today. Most of the claims relate to property damage in NSW while the rest are from policyholders in Queensland.

The insurer will be scaling up support for affected customers and is ready to send its assessors to the fire-hit areas when emergency officials give the clearance.

“Our priority has been, and remains, the safety of our people and customers who may be impacted and helping them recover as quickly as possible,” Executive Manager Short Tail Claims Luke Gallagher told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“While access to the affected area remains limited, we are advising all customers to follow the guidance of the authorities before returning to their homes.”

Specialist heavy motor insurer NTI says it has also received a number of claims.

In NSW, more than 300 houses have been damaged or destroyed, NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told a media briefing this morning.

The numbers could rise in the coming days and weeks as building assessment teams determine the scale of the damage.

The fire service has removed its “catastrophic” fire danger outlook for the regions of Greater Sydney, Illawara/Shoalhaven and Greater Hunter.

In Queensland, at least 14 homes are confirmed lost, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today.

Weather conditions in the state are not expected to improve, according to Bureau of Meteorology Acting State Manager Victoria Dodds.

“Today we see a continuation of the severe fire dangers across certain parts of the state… we’ve got really hot, really dry and really windy conditions,” she said.

“In some places temperatures are going to be 6-8 degrees above average and this is all ahead of a wind change. It’s that wind change today that is adding real complexity to the forecast and it will make conditions really challenging for our fire-fighters on the ground.”

QBE says it will be donating $100,000 to support bushfire recovery efforts mounted by the Red Cross. The fund will come from the insurer’s new disaster relief and climate resilience fund.