Some insurance claims arising from a storm that caused widespread destruction on the Coast a year ago are yet to be finalised. Picture: Lachie Millard
Some insurance claims arising from a storm that caused widespread destruction on the Coast a year ago are yet to be finalised. Picture: Lachie Millard

$504m in claims a stark reminder of Mother Nature’s fury

Insurance providers have warned recent severe thunderstorms should serve as a wake-up call to the Sunshine Coast as the region feels a financial pinch from hailstorms.

It's been nearly one year since a severe hailstorm swept through the region, an event that ripped up trees, damaged countless homes and even tore a roof clean off a house.

The latest figures provided by the Insurance Council of Australia showed that more than 30,600 claims had been lodged by residents in southeast Queensland since those storms hit.

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Statistics showed 13 per cent of claims were yet to be finalised and this summer's storm season had already arrived.

Debris lies strewn across the yard at a block of flats at Mooloolaba that lost its roof during a wild hailstorm. Picture: Lachie Millard
Debris lies strewn across the yard at a block of flats at Mooloolaba that lost its roof during a wild hailstorm. Picture: Lachie Millard

"A severe hailstorm impacting communities in southeast Queensland, in particular the Sunshine Coast region, occurred on 17 November, 2019," the council spokeswoman said.

"As of 26 October 2020, there have been 30,679 claims lodged with a loss value of almost $504 million.

"Claim closure rate for residential buildings is almost 87 per cent and domestic motor claims closure is over 96 per cent."

The council spokeswoman was unable to break the figures down specifically to the Sunshine Coast.

NRMA Insurance received more than 2600 storm related claims from Sunshine Coast residents in the year to June.

Of those, the hardest suburbs hit were Caloundra West, Glass House Mountains, Palmview and Little Mountain.

An NRMA Insurance spokeswoman said 90 per cent of the claims had been finalised.

"The majority of claims yet to be completed are where rebuilds or repairs to our customers' homes are under way," the spokeswoman said.

"The time it takes to complete repairs can vary depending on the property and scale of damage."

 

Storm damage to a block of flats at Mooloolaba where a freak hailstorm powered through. Picture: Lachie Millard
Storm damage to a block of flats at Mooloolaba where a freak hailstorm powered through. Picture: Lachie Millard

IN PICTURES: Trees down, trampoline into powerline

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RACQ received more than 4600 home and motor vehicle claims between November last year and February this year at a total cost of almost $50 million.

The insurer was unable to provide figures of how many claims were yet to be finalised.

It instead pointed to research that showed a lack of preparedness when it came to severe thunderstorms.

An RACQ spokeswoman said recent severe thunderstorms, particularly in the Eumundi and Doonan suburbs, should serve as a "wake-up" call to Mother Nature's ferocity.

"We are concerned some people aren't as prepared as they should be for what's to come," the spokeswoman said.

"Our research shows more than one in four southern Queenslanders leave disaster preparation to the last minute and act only when a severe storm was on their doorstep.

"With the La Nina weather system in full flight, we know there is potential for some very wild weather ahead over the coming months."

Youi Insurance was approached for comment.



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