The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has now estimated that insured losses from the bushfires that have devastated the area surrounding Canberra, the capital city, (See IJ Website Jan 20) may reach A$150 (U.S. $88.9 million), an increase of almost U.S.$30 million since the first estimates were released Monday.
A report from Dow Jones Newswires quoted Chris Henri, national coordinator of the Insurance Disaster Response Organization, who said that “as inspections of damaged homes continue, loss adjusters are judging an increasing number as total losses rather than being able to be repaired. It is now also becoming clear from the claims coming in that several hundred motor vehicles were also destroyed or damaged. These factors have added significantly to the estimated losses.”
So far the fires have caused the death of four people and the destruction of over 400 homes. The ICA said over 2000 claims had already been filed. Insurance Australia Group, the country’s largest P/C insurer, which is mainly concentrated in the motor sector, estimated its losses at A$42 million (U.S.$24.8 million). GIO, the insurance subsidiary of the Suncorp-Medway group, indicated it had already received over 180 claims and estimated pre-tax losses at around A$30 million (U.S.$17.8 million).
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