About 19,200 claims totalling $108 million have been lodged with insurers since the severe hailstorm that struck northwest Victoria’s Mildura region more than a week ago.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the storm a catastrophe. It also hit nearby parts of NSW and SA.
An industry taskforce will address and identify issues and a disaster hotline has been activated for policyholder queries.
ICA CEO Rob Whelan says farmers suffered significant losses.
“The timing could barely be worse for many producers, coming so close to harvest time,” he said. “Fortunately, a substantial proportion of the damaged crops, trees and vines will be covered by insurance.
“Insurers recognise how serious this situation is for a region so dependent on agriculture, and are responding with appropriate urgency.”
ICA initially estimated the insured losses at more than $20 million from 9000 claims, and later revised the figure to $71 million based on 13,200 claims.