Australian Insurers Declare Catastrophe for Perth Hills Bushfires

05 February 2021

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AUSTRALIA – The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a catastrophe for the Perth Hills bushfires which continue to burn north-east of Perth.

Insurers have received more than 270 claims and estimated loss value is over A$40 million (US$30.5 million), this is expected to rise over the coming days as residents return to their homes.

The catastrophe declaration is for communities in the north-east Perth Hills region affected by the bushfires that have been burning since Monday, and have destroyed 81 homes, sheds and kilometers of farm fences.

Insurers have initiated their natural disaster response by mobilizing local assessors and claims specialists, with more responders on stand-by to support affected communities under Western Australia’s essential worker guidelines. Insurers will move their teams into affected communities as soon as emergency services declare it safe to do so.

“The declaration of a catastrophe means claims from these bushfires will be prioritized by insurers, who will be focusing on reducing the immense emotional and financial stress experienced by residents, farmers and businesses,” said ICA CEO Andrew Hall. “The ICA will provide guidance to impacted communities throughout the recovery process.”

Source: Insurance Council of Australia (ICA)

Photograph: In this photo provided by Department of Fire and Emergency Services, a firefighter attends to a fire near Wooroloo, northeast of Perth, Australia, on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. An out-of-control wildfire burning northeast of the Australian west coast city of Perth has destroyed dozens of homes and was threatening more. Photo credit: Evan Collis/DFES via AP.

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