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The new benchmark for catastrophe preparedness in Australia

A review of the insurance industry’s response to the 2022 floods in South East Queensland and New South Wales (CAT221)

The Insurance Council of Australia appointed Deloitte to undertake an external review into the insurance industry’s response to the 2022 South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales floods.

Between 22 February and 9 March 2022, widespread flooding in South East Queensland and New South Wales caused extensive insured losses across thousands of households and businesses. The event, known in the insurance industry as Catastrophe 221, was the costliest insured event in Australian history, with the loss estimated at over $6 billion across 242,000 claims (as of August 2023). The value of claims incurred exceeds the combined losses of the three next costliest catastrophes in Australia since the turn of the century. A catastrophe of this scale demanded a proportionately large response from Australia’s insurance industry.

It is in this context that the Insurance Council of Australia engaged Deloitte to review the insurance industry’s response to CAT221. The purpose of the review was to identify the lessons learned, including opportunities for improvement, that can inform the industry’s response to future extreme weather events in Australia. This report presents the findings of this work.

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