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Sydney hailstorm cost hits $1.36 billion at anniversary

The cost of the catastrophic hailstorm which hit Sydney and regional NSW a year ago today has climbed to $1.36 billion as claims continue to reach insurers.

Insurance Council of Australia figures show 143,085 claims have been lodged as of this month, up from 141,542 in November. About 92% of claims are now closed.

Domestic motor has dominated the claims lodged, totalling more than 90,000, with domestic building and commercial motor the next major categories.

IAG says it has received more than 71,000 claims for damage in Sydney and on the Central Coast and has finalised more than 97% of motor and property repairs.

“We have a dedicated team managing claims from this event and have prioritised claims for vulnerable customers,” IAG Major Events Executive Manager Craig Byfield told today.

“To support with the scale of repairs, we also allocated extra builders to ensure our customers’ homes could be efficiently assessed and repaired.”

Suncorp insurer GIO says it helped more than 30,000 impacted customers over the past year and has injected more than $340 million into the NSW economy.

In total the insurer has repaired more than 24,000 vehicles, a record for a hailstorm, and has also repaired more than 8500 homes with work ranging from minor fixes such as broken skylights and gutters to major roof replacements and internal water damage.

“We are down to the final car repairs, with those remaining mostly a result of customers delaying repairs to suit their schedule,” Head of Claims Michael Miller said.

Homes with significant damage are taking longer but Mr Miller says the insurer is making good progress with the final 600 homes currently being repaired.

Hailstones as large as tennis balls fell on Sydney and surrounding areas, the Bureau of Meteorology reported at the time, as a series of severe storms hit eastern Australia.

“While many parts of Australia continue to be impacted by storms, bushfires and floods, we haven’t forgotten about these impacted customers and won’t stop until every repair is complete,” Mr Miller said.