What a year 2011 was insurance wise. It was kicked off with the Queensland & Victoria Floods in January. With over 65,000 claims lodged and a damage bill of $2.5 billion, it really wasn’t the start to the year the insurance industry needed.
No sooner had January finished, Cyclone Yasi hit North Queensland and Victoria was hit with another massive storm. This time a combined 120,000 claims were lodged with a damage bill of $1.7 billion.
Claims staff and adjusters were severely stretched with their resources, with many working around the clock to assist people that had suffered horribly over the first two months of the 2011.
And this was just the start
Just as the Insurance industry thought these natural disasters were over, the world shook and unspeakable tragedy unfolded before our own eyes.
Christchurch’s earthquake in February caused over $12 billion in damage in one day. And then just 17 days later, one of the worst natural catastrophes the modern world has seen occurred in Japan.
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 caused an estimated $35 billion in damage.
By the end of march alone, Insurer’s worldwide were looking at a $50 billion damage bill for just 6 events.
Even more natural disasters
It was then America’s turn for mother natures fury. From April to August America was hit with 3 major catastrophes – Tornados in April & May and then Hurricane Irene in August.
This left an estimated damage bill of $18 billion combined.
One of the lessor reported catastrophes in 2011 occurred in Thailand. From July to December Thailand was hit with torrential rain causing widespread damage across the nation and incurring a damage bill in the vicinity of $11 billion.
A total damage bill of $380 BILLION
All in all, there were 820 natural disasters in 2011 causing an estimate damage bill of roughly $380 billion. That is a massive amount of money – $380,000,000,000!
As an indication of how much money that really is, check out this website – I know its about Apple but you get the idea of how much $380 billion really is!
Impact on Australians
So what do all of these figures mean to us here in Australia?
Insurance is a world-wide market with the same reinsurers (insurer of the insurers) having interests in companies here in Australia as well as Japan, China, US and Europe.
Home insurance has already been hit with large increases over the past 12 months and it highly likely that other lines of insurance will see some increases such as small business insurance and car insurance.
Are you covered for these types of events?
We are in for a very rocky few years with premiums jumping up and down all over the place. Now more than ever, it is important to do your research whichever type of insurance you are looking at purchasing.
To make sure you have all your assets protected, speak to your insurer or your insurance broker and query your current cover.
Just one phone call could end up saving you big dollars!