Insurance claims from Victoria bushfires pass $1 billion mark

Insurance claims from Victoria bushfires pass $1 billion mark

04 March 2009

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THE insurance bill for the Victorian bushfires has passed the $1 billion mark, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said.

The council said 80 per cent of all claims, which includes assessments for domestic, commercial, farming and industrial claims, have been completed. There are still some no-go areas where police and army are continuing to search for bodies.

“For the February Victorian bushfires, the general insurance industry has received approximately 8150 claims with an estimated insurable cost of $1.02 billion,” an ICA chief executive Kerrie Kelly said.

“These figures will continue to be further refined as detailed assessments of affected premises and assets are completed.”

She said 83 per cent of the claims related to property and contents and 17 per cent to motor vehicles.

The high incidence of non-insurance in the towns devastated by the bushfires remains an issue.

Ms Kelly said 2029 residential properties were lost in the fires but the general insurance industry has received just 1468 claims for total loss of residential properties.

She said the general insurance industry had made around $160 million in emergency payments to policyholders from their insurance policies.

“The Victorian Rebuilding Authority and the general insurance industry continue to work closely in preparing for the next phase of the recovery effort – the rebuilding of properties where policyholders have decided to rebuild,” she said.

She said an important issue that will affect the rebuilding effort will be a decision by Government on new bushfire-zone building standards.

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