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SE-QLD & NSW Extreme Weather Event Update

Mar 31, 2022

Our thoughts go out to everyone that has been affected by the most recent Southeast Queensland and New South Wales Weather Event.  While the event itself may have passed, the destruction it has left in its wake has had a devastating impact across the region. Many of our clients have been directly impacted as a result, and it is heartbreaking to see the losses that have been sustained. 

Given the magnitude of the event, there are a high volume of claims being processed for the region.  The Insurance Council of Australia has reported in excess of 140,000 claims lodged with insurers so far, and the current damage bill is estimated to cost in excess of $2.4 billion. As a result, the insurance industry is experiencing significant delays in sourcing assessors, specialists, trades, and building materials to service all claims in a timely manner.  Claims are currently being triaged by severity across the region, with some insurers experiencing a 6-8 week turn-around time for arranging an assessment at the property.

Whilst the industry is experiencing significant delays, please rest assured that our Claims team and Insurance Advisers are working tirelessly to ensure that your claim remains at the forefront.  We will continue to monitor your claims and assist you in returning to your pre-loss condition as soon as we possibly can. We thank you for your patience and understanding whilst our processing times are higher than usual, and we will continue to stand by you during your time of need.  

We have been getting many questions about the various people that may be appointed to your claim. Please see below a list of people that may be appointed and their respective roles. 

Austbrokers Comsure 

Throughout your claim, you will receive regular communication from our Claims team, along with your Insurance Adviser.  Your Adviser is your designated broker who manages your insurance portfolio, and the claims team manage the lifecycle of your claim and act as an intermediary between yourself and your insurer throughout this process.  The claims team and the Insurance Adviser work together to ensure that we obtain the best possible outcome on your claim, within policy limits, and act on your behalf. Each claim is currently being team managed, to ensure that we are able to progress your claim as soon as possible. 

Loss Adjuster 

Your insurer may appoint a loss adjusting firm such as Crawford and Co, Sedgwick, or McLarens to your claim.  These external firms act on behalf of your insurer and are appointed to assess the damages at your property and complete a detailed report on all the items affected or destroyed by the insured event.  Loss Adjusters are used for both for building and contents related claims.  The Loss Adjuster will then report back to your insurer, advising the recommended coverage, trades, and scope of works required, which will assist your insurer in progressing the claim. 


Given the complexity of this catastrophic weather event, there may be various reasons why your property has sustained damage.  The damage may have been a direct result of a flood, rainwater, storm water run-off, or a combination of the above.  Your insurer may appoint a Hydrologist to attend your property to determine the primary cause of damage.  The hydrologist is an independent specialist that can determine the cause of water ingress by completing an on-site assessment.  Once the assessment is complete, the hydrologist will submit a report to your insurer for review, outlining their findings which will assist in determining the proximate cause of loss and how each policy will respond. Should you have any questions about your policy coverage or applicable excesses, please contact your Insurance Adviser. 


Your insurer or loss adjuster may appoint a Restorer to your claim, particularly if there has been extensive water damage. The role of the restorer is to assess the water damage to your building and contents, and attempt to remediate and restore them back to their pre-loss condition. The restorer will provide a report to your insurer advising what items were salvageable, and what items need to be replaced, along with a scope of works for approval. The loss adjuster will factor this into their report back to the insurer to assist in determining coverage of the claim. 


Your insurer or loss adjuster may appoint a builder to your claim for any property related damage.  The builder may attend to complete a make-safe to prevent further damages being sustained, or may attend to complete an assessment, scope of works and quote for building repairs required on the claim.  The builder will provide this information to the insurer or loss adjuster for review.  The loss adjuster will factor this into their report to the insurer for claim coverage.  Should your claim be covered, the builder will attend to complete the repairs once the scope of works has been agreed upon between yourself and the insurer. 


Your insurer or loss adjuster may appoint an Engineer to your claim.  Engineers are specialists that are appointed when there is suspected damage that may compromise the structural integrity of the property.  Should an Engineer be appointed to the claim, they will complete an assessment and determine whether the structural integrity has been compromised.  A report of their findings will be provided to the insurer or loss adjuster to assist in determining claim coverage. 


Should you have any questions in relation to your claim or the professionals appointed, please reach out to our claims team by emailing, or by phoning Austbrokers Comsure on 1800 122 194

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