AUSTRALIA’S major insurers are tallying claims from the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history but say it is too soon to estimate costs from the deadly bushfires.
Suncorp Metway Ltd, Insurance Australia Group, AMP and AXA Asia Pacific Holdings said it was too early to assess the claim numbers and costs from Victoria’s devastating bushfires.
As the death toll continued to mount, insurers said accurate numbers on claims would not be known for several days.
Suncorp, Australia’s third largest general insurance group, has exposure to the bushfires and the Queensland floods through its general domestic insurance products and commercial property insurance products.
It says it will update the market on cost estimates once they become available.
The costs of both disasters will add to Suncorp’s costs from last year’s Brisbane storms which puts Suncorp well on the way to reaching its aggregate reinsurance cover of $250 million per year, Suncorp spokesman Jamin Smith says.
This cover applies for multiple separate claims events costing over $10 million and will cover claims from the bushfires and floods, he said.
Meanwhile, IAG’s customers are continuing to lodge claims and the insurer also has teams mobilising in Victoria to support them, IAG said.
AXA spokeswoman Francine McMullen said it was too early to assess claim numbers under its life and income protection policies.
AMP has 12 staff on the ground in several fire ravaged Victorian towns and they have been approached by many victims seeking assistance, AMP spokeswoman Sarah Hudson said.
QBE Insurance Group did not return calls.