Perils pegs eastern Australia October flood losses at $791 million
9 December 2022
Catastrophe data company Perils estimates losses from October’s floods in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania at $791 million, making it Australia’s fifth largest flood event loss since 1980.
Head of Perils Asia Pacific Darryl Pidcock says the overall cost of the catastrophe was relatively contained as the event struck outside metro areas, unlike the $5 billion-plus flood in Queensland and NSW in the opening months of 2022.
“While the meteorological conditions of the two events were similar, the October event affected a much less densely populated area and hence losses were significantly lower. Nevertheless, the resulting industry loss was substantial,” Mr Pidcock said.
Wet conditions experienced in many parts of Australia over the past two years have been driven by La Nina, which generates above-average rainfall across much of northern and eastern Australia.
From October 12 to 28, a series of low-pressure systems brought heavy rain to inland southeast Australia. These connected with tropical air masses from the north loaded with moisture from “exceptionally warm” ocean waters.
This led to storms and intense rainfall over the southern Murray–Darling Basin and Tasmania which fell on already saturated soils and led to extensive riverine flooding in inland regions of the three south-east states, breaking historical records in some areas.
An updated estimate will be published by Perils in late January.
The latest available claims figures for the catastrophe from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) show 17,000 claims worth $476.8 million.