Insured losses for Australia's 2019/2020 wildfires rose to A $ 1.866 billion (US $ 1.441 billion), according to estimates from PERILS, the independent Zurich-based organization that provides industry-wide catastrophe insurance data.
This fourth and latest industry loss estimate is a slight increase from the third loss estimate of A $ 1.861 billion (US $ 1.437 billion) released by PERILS on July 6, 2020, six months after event.
In accordance with the PERILS event definition, the PERILS loss number covers the industries properties and engine hulls.
The loss data in the sector refers to the peak period of the forest fires that occurred during the turn of the year 2019/2020. The figure is based on detailed loss data collected from most of the Australian insurance market. The sector loss footprint applies the dominant events definition clause used in the Australian reinsurance market and covers the peak losses that occurred within a period of 168 consecutive hours (seven days) in Australian territory.
The maximum loss period of seven days differs between insurers, but is generally between December 20, 2019 and January 6, 2020. For most insurers, this is between December 30, 2019 and January 5, 2020.
This report comes 12 months after the worst Australian bushfire season on record, known as the "Black Summer," said PERILS. The fires have hit the entire continent, resulting in 33 deaths and an estimated 24 million hectares of land burned between September 2019 and March 2020.
Insurance losses during the New Year's peak were most severe in the states of New South Wales, which accounted for 71% of the losses in the sector, Victoria (17%) and South Australia (12%).
“A year after the Black Summer bushfires, this release of the final loss report provides a timely reminder of the devastation such an event can cause to local communities. This was one of many big cat events to hit Australia in 2020, with the insurance industry playing a vital role in enabling affected communities to rebuild during the year, ”said Darryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia. Pacific.
"The detailed data resolution in this updated industry loss footprint can increase the insurance industry's understanding of the impact of future wildfires as there is always more to learn about these devastating losses," he added.
This industry damage report provides a detailed breakdown of property and motor vehicle damage by zip code, further dividing the data into residential and commercial lines. Loss amounts are provided for buildings, contents and business interruption and include fire intensity metrics and average damage rates. The fire intensity measurements by zip code, which are based on satellite data, can be used for correlation analysis of observed damage rates and to derive vulnerability functions to model forest fire risk in Australia.
Photo: Burning in Mallacoota, Australia on Jan. 2, 2020. Photo credit: Darrian Traynor / Getty Images.
The most important insurance news, delivered to your inbox every working day.
Receive the trusted newsletter from the insurance industry