Suncorp’s bill for natural hazard damage has reached as much as $500 million and the real storm season is yet to hit.
Suncorp has set an allowance of almost $1 billion this financial year and has a reinsurance program but a La Nina weather pattern with 70 per cent chance of emerging this summer was likely to mean a wetter than average storm season.
The cyclone season officially starts on November 1, but Suncorp disclosed on Tuesday that its bill was already between $382 million and $492 million.
The damage has mostly been from storms in Queensland and NSW – and the biggest bill was an estimated $70 million-$100 million payout for last week’s Coffs Harbour hailstorm.
The Melbourne earthquake cost up to $70 million.
Suncorp chief executive Steve Johnston said there were five declared storm events in October alone.
“While it is too early to estimate the ultimate costs of these events, preliminary ranges are being provided on lodgement patterns and historical average claims costs,” he said.
Suncorp has pressured governments to do more to mitigate the damage of storms and floods, which have meant insurance in some areas of Australia, particularly parts of north Queensland, have become prohibitively expensive for people and businesses.
This article first appeared in InQueensland, and is republished with permission.