From the raging bushfires, scorching summer to the present hail storm—folks in Queensland have seen it all and with climate change, more is on the way.
Queenslanders have lodged thousands of insurance claims amounting to about $40 million in just 24 hours following a severe storm that smashed cars and households in the south-east areas of the state.
The cleanup process is underway with the Sunshine Coast being the most affected by the destructive storm that befell the state on Sunday afternoon, as the State Emergency Service having carried out 215 rescue missions in the area.
The insurance sector has declared the fierce weather event a catastrophe, after locals filed more than 5000 insurance claims by 3pm on Monday.
Cricket Ball Sized Hail And Winds At Severe Winds
Footage shared by residents showed ice pellets as big as a cricket ball, shattering windshields and other structures.
Hail stones accompanied the strong winds, with one video showing a roof that was ripped off from a building and blown into the sky.
The severe winds also uprooted trees and brought down power lines causing brownouts in some areas.
“All hands on deck, from a council point of view, working to ensure roadways are cleared, footpaths are cleared, access to beaches are cleared,” Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson stated.
“Clearly, there are a lot of people harshly impacted in terms of hail damage to motor cars on the Bruce Highway in particular.”
Several suburbs including Caloundra West, Mooloolaba, Palmview, Mountain Creek and Sippy Downs recorded the most SES call-outs.
Storm Causes Extensive Damage
By Monday afternoon, RACQ insurance company had received 1250 vehicle claims and 298 home claims in the aftermath of the hailstorm—the highest number of claims on the Sunshine Coast.
Suncorp received around 1000 claims mostly related to motor damages.
“The damage from this storm has been extensive,” RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said.
“We’ve seen holes in windscreens and paintwork as well as damage to patios and roofs of homes.”
Ross noted that the number of claims was bound to increase in the next couple of days.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), it’s unknown whether the cost from the damage caused by the storm will match the $1.39 billion worth of claims the insurance sector paid out to claimants when a superstorm swept through Brisbane in 2014.
ICA spokesman Cambell Fuller promised that valid claims relating to storm damage insured under home and comprehensive motor vehicle policies will be duly paid out.
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