Insurance Board reveals number of claims for Victoria earthquake
“The earthquake is the largest event to have occurred in South East Australia in the modern instrumental era,” said a statement from Geoscience Australia.
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In response to questions from Insurance Business, the ICA said there were 1,700 earthquake claims so far, but no estimated monetary value for damage at this early stage. Almost all of the claims are from Victoria, but 4% are from ACT and NSW.
The majority of claims concern homes with minor damage such as impacts on plaster and plaster, cracked walls and fallen masonry. The CIA said insurers have received a handful of claims for significant structural damage.
Initially, reports said Mansfield, rather than Rawson, was the epicenter of the quake. When the earthquake struck, the people of Mansfield said there was a sound like a big crash followed by birds flying wildly.
A local bookseller told The Guardian newspaper that residents had reacted as if “it was the end of the world” and “everyone rushed to the main street”. However, the mayor of the city only learned of the earthquake from a reporter. No damage was reported.
According to news reports, the worst impacts of the earthquake took place on Chapel Street in Melbourne’s central Windsor district. Photos posted on Twitter show the collapsed top floor of the Betty’s Burger building with debris in the street below.
Other reports said several Melbourne skyscrapers and a city hospital were briefly evacuated and damaged light rail lines were temporarily closed.
As of Thursday, IAG, Australia’s largest general insurance company, had received more than 400 claims.
CEO Nick Hawkins said IAG’s top priority is the safety of its customers and staff.
âOur dedicated major events team is in place year round to ensure that we are as well prepared as possible to support our clients following a natural disaster,â he said.
A press release from the company noted that due to current COVID-19 restrictions, business customers may take longer than usual to identify damage.
“We encourage our customers who have suffered damage to their home or property to contact us to file their claim, so that we can provide immediate assistance such as emergency repairs and temporary accommodation, as quickly as possible.” , said Hawkins.
Another large general insurer, Allianz, said it is actively monitoring the situation and is ready to help clients with claims early in the payback period.
In a statement, the insurance giant advised customers directly affected by the earthquake to prioritize safety and let their friends and family know.
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Once the area is safe, the insurer recommended that clients create an inventory of damaged property and building areas. He also recommended taking photos before disturbing the scene or removing debris.
The CIA has said that under current COVID-19 restrictions, insurance assessors are considered licensed workers and are permitted to perform damage assessments. Builders and traders are also allowed to make urgent and essential repairs, including safes.
Geoscience Australia said it received more than 40,000 sensation reports within 24 hours of the earthquake.
The agency said that part of Victoria in the South East Highlands region regularly experiences small earthquakes. There have been approximately 60 earthquakes of magnitude 2 and above in the past 20 years.
“The epicenter of the earthquake lies just east of the Fiddlers Green fault zone, suggesting that the reactivation of part of this fault, at the base of this major fault structure at the scale of the crust, was the cause of the earthquake, âthe agency statement said.
The agency said Rapid Deployment Kits (RDKs) are being sent to the earthquake area to collect more data. These kits help scientists better define the source of the earthquake in terms of the location of the active fault and the depth of the main event.
The records of these kits could be of great use to the insurance industry. They provide rare and powerful records of ground movements that can be used to improve risk estimates and guide building design.
Aftershocks of the earthquake are expected to continue for months.