Hope in the face of loss: Repair and recovery in the wake of floods
Allianz employees have been amazed at the fortitude of residents affected by flooding in New South Wales and Queensland. As the initial emergency moves into a recovery and repair phase, Allianz is there to support its customers, partners and employees.
The floods that rocked coastal New South Wales and South-East Queensland in February and March are shaping up to be one of the largest catastrophic events in Australia’s history. The event was the costliest flood ever, estimated to have reached $3.35 billion in insured losses (Insurance Council of Australia).
Our Claims teams have heard some heartbreaking stories of loss from customers who found themselves in extremely difficult situations. Months on from the event, customers are still feeling the effects of these devastating floods.
So far, we have supported more than 32,000 customers through claims for the flood event, with the main focus on property claims. Allianz has had teams in more than 30 local recovery centres and also attended many of the community forums held in flood-affected areas. Our focus has been on continuing to have employees on the ground talking to customers and providing as much assistance as we can.
Support for customers affected by floods
In the initial stages of the catastrophe, we brought in additional contractors to help assist customers who needed emergency support and accommodation. Now that we’re moving into the repair phase, along with other insurers, we’ve had to contend with the significant impact of COVID on building materials and other supplies, as well as the ongoing issue of finding available tradespeople.
Danny Adams, General Manager Short Tail Claims, says the floods have taken a toll on communities previously affected by flooding and predicts that recovery may take up to 12–18 months.
“This has been a flood event that came back over old ground,” Danny says. “We had some customers who had just finished repairs on their home from last year’s flooding in NSW when this year’s flood event occurred.
“We’ve heard some heartbreaking stories of loss, but we’ve been amazed at how people in these areas have banded together to help others in many different ways, large and small.”
Danny says Allianz has helped customers buy caravans if they wanted to stay on their block to look after animals. And it has assisted other customers if they decided to move out of the area and into temporary accommodation.
Most claims came through in the first 3-4 weeks of the event, he says, and the impact it has had on members of the claims team has been huge.
“We’re exceptionally proud of the job our claims teams have done. Some of the stories they’ve heard have been quite terrible, but the way they continue on and keep trying to help our customers is a credit to all involved.
“The event now moves into the next phase, from claims lodgement to management of claims. To ensure all our customers get the best possible experience, we’re continuing to focus on flexible options where possible – for example, we’re considering cash settlements where customers have the capability to do repairs themselves and are happy to do so.”
Allianz employees raise funds for the March Flood Appeal
Allianz employees March Flood Appeal has been able to contribute over $20,000 after dollar-matching to Disaster Relief Australia, supporting flood affected communities.
“We’re continuing to work with customers to do everything we can to restore them back to their lives before the floods,” Danny says.
Other supports for community members are ongoing. The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is holding community forums for flood-affected residents and communities over coming months. These events are important for communities and individual policyholders to understand the processes in place to support those affected, as well as the claims process and some of the challenges facing the insurance sector at present.
This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at 2 June 2022 and may be subject to change. In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.