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NSW storms add $176 million to ‘staggering’ weather losses

Storms that battered NSW early last month caused $176 million in insured damage from 14,781 claims, the Insurance Council of Australia says.

The total, revealed today, means three extreme weather events since late December have resulted in $1.6 billion in insured damage across NSW, Queensland and Victoria – a figure ICA says is “staggering”.

The Christmas storms, which on December 23-29 hit all three eastern states with large hail, intense wind, flash floods and tornadoes and were declared a catastrophe, racked up $1.24 billion in insured losses. The Valentine’s Day storms, which left about 530,000 Victorian homes without power, cost $196 million.

The April 3-8 storms in NSW mostly hit the Hawkesbury-Nepean and Illawarra regions. Insurers have been on the ground in affected communities and have so far paid out $10 million.

More than 95% of claims are for property damage. There are 13,959 claims for home building and contents, motor and "other personal", and 822 for commercial property.

ICA declared it a significant event. Under that declaration, it starts claims data collection, analysis and reporting in consultation with members, and its representatives work with government and agencies to best assist people.