2022 floods ‘now Australia’s third costliest natural disaster’

Insured losses from the South-East Queensland and Northern NSW floods in late February/early March have reached $4.8 billion.

The Insurance Council of Australia, which is tracking claims, is now classifying the floods as the third costliest extreme weather event in Australia’s history.

Only Cyclone Tracy (1974) and the Sydney hailstorm (1999) caused more insured losses.

Close to 225,000 insurance claims relating to the flood event have been lodged across both states, an increase of 3.6 percent on last month’s count.

However, as claims assessments continue to be completed, insurance costs for the event have increased 12 percent on last month, driven in part by increasing materials and labour costs.

With almost 125,000 home claims stemming from the 2022 East Coast Floods, ICA chief executive Andrew Hall says local councils need to be preparing for an influx of development applications for the very large number of property rebuilds and repairs required.

“Past experience has shown us that local councils need to be looking at what they can do to process the higher-than-usual number of development applications we expect to see as a result of this flood,” he said.