Victorian bushfires update: total insured losses marching towards $1 billion

Sydney, 12 February 2009

The number of claims arising from the Victorian bushfire tragedy continues to rise on an hourly basis, according to insurance giant Allianz Australia.

Nicholas Scofield, General Manager Corporate Affairs, said “as at noon Thursday, Allianz had received 533 claims valued at over $55 million, which is more than a doubling of the 220 claims and more than a tripling of the $15 million reported on Monday. We expect claims numbers to further increase over the coming week, particularly over the weekend when some of our customers and assessors are expected to be able to enter areas where access is currently still restricted.”

The breakdown of the claims is around 80% building and contents and nearly 20% motor vehicles.

According to Mr Scofield “the continuing influx of claims being received suggests that our initial prediction that total industry insured damage would reach half a billion dollars will easily be eclipsed and you couldn’t at this point rule out total insured damage reaching around $1 billion.”

Allianz has continued to make emergency payments to customers affected by the bushfires and a number of total loss motor vehicle claims have already been finalised. Allianz assessors have contacted, or attempted to contact, every customer that has lodged a claim. Allianz has already paid out over half a million dollars to affected customers.

Allianz has also further increased its presence on the ground. As well as a temporary office at the Whittlesea Relief Centre, Allianz representatives are now also located at NAB branches at Whittlesea, Bendigo, Alexandria and Healesville. Allianz will also have claims officers located at Yea on the weekend.

Mr Scofield said “given the unprecedented nature of this event, Allianz will donate at least $100,000 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal being coordinated by the Australian Red Cross. It is not possible to quantify the size of our overall donation at this stage because, in addition, Allianz will match our employees’ donations to the Bushfire Appeal on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The generosity of our employees has been outstanding and humbling. Allianz employees have already donated more than $50,000 in just a few days and a range of staff-initiated fundraising activities have been organised across our Australian offices.”

Concluding, Mr Scofield said “our thoughts are with all those affected by this disaster and Allianz is mobilising all of its resources to help our fellow Australians through these incredibly tragic circumstances.”

Media enquiries

Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia
Ph. 02-9390 6596
0416 088 414

Allianz Australia

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The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and also provides life insurance.

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. AAL is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.

Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. In 2007, the company achieved a gross written premium exceeding AU$2.4 billion and investment assets of approximately AU$5.5 billion. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.
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Allianz’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged ‎internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised Allianz as the most ‎sustainable general insurer in the world in 2007. In Australia, Allianz is a member of the Greenhouse ‎Challenge Plus program, which is a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian ‎Government that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.‎

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