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  • Writer's pictureLynna Tan

Understanding the Impact: Newcastle Hailstorm of May 2023



Introduction

The afternoon of Friday, May 26, 2023, marked a devastating turn of events for the Hunter and Central Coast regions of New South Wales. A hailstorm of unprecedented proportions swept through these areas, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. In response to this calamity, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) swiftly declared the incident a 'Significant Event', initiating a comprehensive assessment of the insurance impact and ushering in a series of critical measures to assist those affected.


The ICA's Swift Response

The Insurance Council of Australia is renowned for its prompt response to natural disasters. In this instance, their preliminary catastrophe processes were swiftly activated to assist both the ICA and insurers in evaluating the aftermath of the hailstorm. This declaration of a Significant Event signifies the gravity of the situation and underscores the importance of mobilising resources to support the affected communities.


Key Statistics and Figures

As of 10 am on Monday, May 29, 2023 insurance companies had already received a staggering 7,552 claims linked to the hailstorm. Of these claims, a significant portion—6,021, to be precise—pertained to damage inflicted on motor vehicles. These numbers serve as a stark reminder of the widespread impact this event has had on the region.





Taking Action: What to Do If You're Affected

If your property or vehicle has suffered damage due to the hailstorm, it's imperative to take action promptly. Even if you're unsure of the full extent of the damage, contact your insurer or Rebuild Relief to inspect the damages and initiate the claims process on behalf of you. Early reporting may expedite the process and can offer additional support during a challenging time.


A Message from Andrew Hall, CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia

Andrew Hall, the CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia, emphasised the importance of this Significant Event declaration. He stated, "The insurance industry has made this Significant Event declaration to activate services and support for affected motorists, homeowners, and businesses and reassure them that their insurer is there to help." Hall also acknowledged that while the full extent of the damage is not yet clear, motor vehicles have taken the brunt of the destruction.


Community Vigilance

In light of this unfortunate event, the ICA also urged those affected to remain vigilant. With widespread damage often comes the risk of unauthorised individuals taking advantage of the situation. The ICA encouraged residents to report any suspicious activity or interactions to government authorities or the police, underscoring the importance of community cooperation during these trying times.


Conclusion

The declaration of the Newcastle hailstorm as a Significant Event by the Insurance Council of Australia reflects their commitment to supporting communities in times of crisis. As they work closely with insurers and government agencies to assess the situation and provide assistance, affected individuals are encouraged to reach out to their insurers promptly. This proactive approach ensures that the path to recovery begins sooner rather than later, helping the communities of Hunter and Central Coast regions rebuild and heal.


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