Melbourne storm: Allianz impact and response

Sydney, 16 March 2010

The Melbourne storm on 6-7 March is shaping up to be one of the largest hail events in recent memory in terms of insurance claims and one of the five largest hail storms in Australia in more than forty years.

According to Nicholas Scofield, General Manager Corporate Affairs at Allianz, “claims continue to be received from the Melbourne storms and the event is on track to be one of the most damaging hail events in recent memory. One week on, total insurance industry claims costs are heading quickly towards the half a billion dollar mark, which would make the March 2010 Melbourne event one of the largest storms in decades and the largest hail event since the massive Sydney hail storm of April 1999.”

“At this point in time, Allianz has received over 8,300 claims, valued at around $58 million,” Mr Scofield said.

“Allianz has activated its Emergency Response Plan, including the establishment of a Victorian Event Response Team, to maximise the resources devoted to assisting our customers,” he said.

The Victorian Event Response Team has set up two specially-dedicated motor vehicle assessment centres and Allianz is now in the process of contacting all customers to arrange a convenient time for them to bring their vehicles to these centres. Allianz motor assessors and claims staff will be on site to assess the vehicles and provide claims advice. Allianz has also bolstered its Victorian resources by bringing staff to Melbourne from interstate and using resources in other States to assist our customers.

Mr Scofield emphasised that, “while there seems to have been some confusion in the media about whether policyholders are covered for this event, there is no question that damage caused by hail, rainwater or flash flooding due to excessive rainwater run-off is covered by Allianz’s home and motor policies.”

Concluding, Mr Scofield said, “after any event of this magnitude insurers receive a large number of calls over a short period of time and some delays can occur. Allianz would like to thank its customers for their patience and we have put in place initiatives to minimise any delay or inconvenience.”

Allianz Australia - General Insurance Company of the Year 2009*

The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It includes one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and a life insurer.
Greenhouse Challenge Plus
Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. It 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 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.

The Allianz Group’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised the Allianz Group as the most sustainable primary insurance company in the world since 2006. In Australia, Allianz Australia participated in the Greenhouse Challenge Plus (GHC+) program - a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - and continues to adopt the GHC+ principles.

*Australian and New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards