6 July 2020News

Australian bushfires cost re/insurers $1.3bn in 2019-2020: PERILS

Re/insurance industry losses for Australian bushfires in 2019-2020 came to a total of A$1.86 billion ($1.3 billion), according to PERILS, the independent Zurich-based catastrophe data provider.

An earlier loss estimate in February had put the loss at A$1.57 billion, meaning it has increased by 19 percent. The previous estimate was unchanged in April as PERILS did not carry out a second round of data collection due to issues around COVID-19.

PERILS released the industry loss footprint for the Australian bushfires of 2019 and 2020, based on detailed loss data collected from the majority of the Australian insurance market. New South Wales accounted for 70 percent of the industry loss, while Victoria saw 17 percent of the losses and South Australia 13 percent.

An updated estimate of the industry loss from the Australian bushfires will be made available by PERILS on 6 January 2021, one year after the event’s end date.

The industry loss footprint applies the dominant event definition clause used in the Australian re/insurance market and covers the peak losses which occurred within a period of 168 consecutive hours (seven days) on Australian territory. The peak seven-day loss period differs among insurers but generally lies between December 20, 2019 and January 6, 2020.

Darryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, said: “By providing the bushfire loss data and intensity information on a postcode and LOB level, we believe this can help the insurance industry better understand the impact of future bushfire events.”