PERILS, the independent Zurich-based organisation providing industry-wide catastrophe insurance data, says that its final industry loss estimate for the January 2020 Australian hailstorms stands at A$1,887m ($1,456m).
This fourth and final industry loss estimate compares to the third loss estimate of A$1,811m which was issued by PERILS on 21 July 2020, six months after the event.
In line with the PERILS event definition, the loss number covers the Property and Motor Hull lines of business. The industry loss data covers the hailstorms which occurred between 19-21 January 2020.
The event was unusual given that it impacted all three states —Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland— and the Australian Capital Territory within a three-day period.
The largest impact was experienced in Canberra which reported hailstones of up to 6cm in size. Insurance losses during the period were most severe in the Australian Capital Territory, which accounted for 56% of the overall industry loss, followed by Victoria (25%), New South Wales (15%), and Queensland (4%).
Across the affected areas, motor losses contributed 42% of the total industry loss, while 58% were due to losses in property lines of business.
The industry loss of A$1,887m is based on detailed loss data collected from the majority of the Australian insurance market. In the final report, a comprehensive breakdown of property and motor losses by postcode is provided, with the data further divided by residential and commercial lines and loss amounts split into buildings, contents and business interruption losses where available. It is complemented with information on damage degrees and hail intensities based on radar measurements by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. This high-resolution data can be used to validate hail vulnerability functions for motor and property risks in probabilistic Cat models.
Mr Darryl Pidcock, Head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, said, “The need for detailed loss and exposure data for hail was further highlighted by the two significant hail events in Queensland that occurred later in the year. Together with the January event, these hailstorms have generated more than A$3.5bn in losses for the insurance industry in 2020.”