Supporting IAG customers through record breaking severe weather
30 Apr 2021
Only four months into 2021, record-breaking severe weather events have caused devastating damage to Australian communities.
Across our brands, we’ve received more than 13,500 claims for damage to homes, property and vehicles as a result of the heavy rains in NSW and SE QLD, and more than 1,300 claims for damage relating to Cyclone Seroja in Western Australia.
Our dedicated Major Event team is in place all year round to ensure we are as well prepared as possible to support our customers when natural disasters occur and the team remains all-hands-on-deck as they continue to help our customers recover from these events.
Our immediate priority is always to ensure the safety of our customers. As soon as they contact us to lodge their claims, we provide emergency assistance including temporary accommodation and immediate access to funds. And if we haven’t heard from any of our customers in affected areas, where possible we contact them to make sure they’re safe and to find out how we can help.
We know extreme weather events like this have a devastating impact on people and communities, so we also offer our customers and their families free and confidential counselling by a team of psychologists experienced in providing post-incident support.
We urge any customers who haven’t been in contact with us to lodge their claim as soon as possible so we can help them get the support they need.
IAG claims staff and CEO Nick Hawkins at the NRMA Port Macquarie Agency.
Record breaking rainfall in NSW
The heavy rains in March gave the NSW coast its second-wettest day, third-wettest week, and second-wettest March on record since 1900.
As soon as emergency services had declared the area safe, our teams were on the ground supporting customers in the worst impacted areas of the NSW Mid North Coast, Western Sydney and SE QLD, assessing the damage to our customers’ homes, ensuring their properties were safe and arranging temporary accommodation for those who needed it.
We have a dedicated team managing claims from this event and our NRMA Insurance branches and agencies in the impacted areas have played an important role in providing face-to-face support for those lodging claims.
The NRMA Insurance helicopter was made available to the emergency authorities to help evacuate people from their homes who had been cut off by flood water. The helicopter typically assists during bushfires but can be repurposed to help during other major weather events.
Our assessors and builders remain on the ground in communities, helping our customers get back on their feet. We have a proud history of employing local trades and suppliers, particularly in response to major events and we are using qualified tradespeople from the local area wherever possible. This means our partner builders source and use local trades and suppliers wherever they can.
Cyclone Seroja, Western Australia
On Sunday 11 April, Tropical Cyclone (TC) Seroja made landfall just south of Kalbarri in Western Australia as a Category 3 cyclone. Kalbarri was one of the most affected towns, where winds reached up to 170 km/h, and in Geraldton, wind gusts reached up to 120km/hr, the highest in that area since 1956.
The extent of the damage made some areas difficult to access, but as soon as it was safe to do so we mobilised our assessors, claims teams and builders and they were on the ground helping our customers through the recovery and repair process.
Over the last few weeks, our claims team has been at the Recovery Centre in Kalbarri helping customers with their claims, queries and any immediate support they need. And our property assessors and partner builders remain in the affected communities assessing our customers’ homes and organising repairs, installation of tarps and any other measures needed to make sure their properties are safe. We have also brought in extra builders to assist with the volumes of claims.
We’re proud to partner with the SES to support the phenomenal assistance they provide to communities when disasters strike. Their dedication to protecting lives, property and helping communities through disasters like these is truly amazing.
During these events, our partner, The Australian Red Cross activated its Register.Find.Reunite service to help people affected by the events let their loves ones know they were OK.
The Australian Red Cross is now providing Flood Grants and people can apply online at https://www.redcross.org.au/floodgrants.
Our partner, GIVIT supported impacted communities by coordinating offers of assistance including cash and item donations using its website givit.org.au.
How to contact us
If any customers need help with their claims, they can contact us by phone or online:
NRMA Insurance: 13 11 23 or www.nrma.com.au
CGU Insurance: 13 24 80 or www.cgu.com.au
RACV: 13 19 03 or www.racv.com.au/insurance
WFI Insurance: 1300 934 934 or www.wfi.com.au
SGIO customers can call 133 233 or www.sgio.com.au/
Coles Insurance: 1300 265 374, or financialservices.coles.com.au/insurance
 Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Special Climate Statement 74 – extreme rainfall and flooding in eastern and central Australia in March 2021, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/statements/scs74.pdf