Floods now Australia's second costliest weather event

With areas of Australia again recovering from inundation by water, it’s good to reflect on the value that a dedicated claims team brings during a catastrophe event.

In February and March this year, the east coast of Australia experienced the nation’s second costliest extreme weather event on record. 

The Insurance Council of Australia reported at the end of July that 230,000 flood claims had been lodged. Insured losses from Queensland and New South Wales were estimated to cost A$5.1 billion, and many claims still being assessed and adjusted. 

As an insurer with a significant commercial book, Liberty provided insurance coverage for several larger commercial clients who experienced catastrophic damage, including hotels, retail businesses, warehouses, and industrial sites. In a two-week period, we received over 80 different property, construction, and marine losses. As a claims team we recognise the importance of a proactive service with a focus on accessibility, mobility, and responsiveness. 

We also know that one of the most important responses for these impacted businesses is receiving claims payments as fast as possible. Thus, as the claims notifications rolled in, as part of our Claims+ Advance Catastrophe Response, our Australian first party claims team mobilised. Fast.  

As an example, one of our weather affected insured’s in Lismore was pleased to have their million dollar claim completely settled in just five weeks. The retail business was impacted by water and we arranged for our loss adjuster to assess the property. The Liberty claims and underwriting team also visited the insured’s property to see the damage first-hand. Once we received the formal claim submission, we made payment directly to the insured in three days. 

This is a real demonstration of our claims value proposition. Our quick engagement and rapid payment made a significant difference to our insured, enabling them to establish a temporary operation to continue supplying essential goods and services to the local community. 
Times like these give us the opportunity to live up to our claims principles to work together as one team, to act decisively and to pay fairly, efficiently and dependably. Our brokers and their clients know how much a claims response can vary between insurers, and we strive to show why value in the insurance context is about more than price alone. The weather in Australia may be wild and unpredictable but we’re here for our broking partners and clients, doing our best to support them in incredibly challenging times. 

As we help our clients get back on their feet, we are working to show in practical terms that Liberty really does see insurance as a partnership.