Sydney storm claims climbing, but Queensland firefighters keep losses low

Insurance losses from the torrential rainfall that hit Sydney this week have risen to $13.5 million, while only a handful of claims have been received as a result of more than 100 fires in Queensland. The Queensland fires are continuing to burn, and insurers are monitoring high-risk weather conditions that are forecast to arrive in the next few days. The Insurance Council of Australia says about 2750 claims have been lodged from the Sydney storm, which caused flooding, power losses and transport disruptions as the city experienced its wettest November day since 1984. “Most of those claims are for damage to roofs and also damage to motor vehicles and it is unlikely that insurers will be receiving many more claims,” ICA spokesman Campbell Fuller said. More than 100mm of rain fell across the city in less than two hours on Wednesday and the SES received more than 2000 calls for help. Power company Ausgrid said more than 8000 customers were without electricity after the storm. In Queensland, insurers are monitoring fires that broke out mostly in central and northern regions after hot, dry weather. “So far insurers have received only a handful of claims and that is largely due to the extraordinarily good work of the emergency services in those fire zones,” Mr Fuller said. ICA has activated its disaster hotline to help customers with general information and to provide guidance on the claims process as the extreme weather conditions continue. Policyholders affected by storms or bushfires have been encouraged to contact their insurers as soon as possible. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this morning 114 fires were burning in the state. “We are still expecting extreme weather conditions over the next three to four days, and of course the wind conditions are expected to change,” she said. The Bureau of Meteorology is also monitoring a pressure system near the Solomon Islands that has a moderate chance of developing into a cyclone off the Queensland coast next week. 

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