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East coast storm insured losses hit $377 million

Estimated losses from the east coast low that hit Queensland, NSW and Tasmania last month now stand at $377 million.

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) CEO Rob Whelan says insurers have received 43,244 claims so far.

Last week ICA held forums in the Tasmanian centres of Latrobe and Burnie to help flood and storm-affected households and businesses, many of which had previously expressed dissatisfaction or confusion over the insurance response.

Northern Tasmania recorded estimated insured losses of $30.5 million, with 2640 claims.

Mr Whelan says the 40 groups of policyholders who attended the Latrobe event appreciated being able to talk with insurers and other experts about the recovery process.

“Though the claims process is well advanced for most policyholders, and hundreds of claims have already been finalised, ICA recognised some claimants had unresolved questions or concerns,” he said.

Several groups received guidance on formal dispute resolution processes from ICA, the Financial Ombudsman Service and North West Community Legal Centre.

Mr Whelan says less than 1% of household claims and less than 2% of business claims have been denied in northern Tasmania, usually because a policyholder did not have flood cover.

“Insurers recognise the emotional and financial trauma these disasters cause, and how important it is for policyholders to get back into their homes and businesses quickly,” he said.

“That is why each insurance company is working as fast as it can to finish processing claims and completing repairs.”