Update on Townsville recovery following the 2019 floods

By  Andrew Mair

One year on since the devastating floods in Townsville, I am pleased to report that Suncorp Group, including Vero, is close to finalising its large number of claims.

Across the Group, we received close to 9,000 home, motor and commercial property claims and our response required a heavily resourced, co-ordinated and efficient operation. Our focus throughout the flood recovery and rebuild process has been to place our customers back in their homes, as well as get businesses back up and running, as soon as possible.

Progress to date

At the 12-month mark, we have made significant progress on our response:

  • We have finalised 83% of commercial property claims received.
  • We have completed 100% of vehicle repairs for commercial motor claims.
  • We have finalised 83% of Vero home and contents claims.
  • 95% of flood affected home insurance customers are back in their homes.
  • We have made payments of more than $325 million for home and contents claims to date, either directly to customers or for services rendered as part of the rebuilding and repairing process.

There are a range of reasons for ongoing work required for commercial property claims, but primarily it relates to severity and size of damage being repaired. We remain committed to resolving these claims as soon as possible.

Supporting local tradespeople and suppliers

One of the successes of our response effort has been the support of more than 500 local trades, companies and suppliers, who have worked alongside our existing repairers to help complete repairs quickly and have provided a significant boost to Townsville’s broader economy over the past year.

As a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to the region, we hope to shortly appoint two Townsville-based repairers to our building panel. These builders will help support future claims and event responses in the north, as well as contribute to the ongoing economic recovery of Townsville in the years ahead.

Working together to deliver good customer outcomes

We have been clear since day one that we’re here for the long-haul and will see our response through to the very end.

While the majority of claims have been finalised and we are proud of the work undertaken to date, I appreciate we are not done yet. Our claims teams and repairers continue to work with customers whose claims are still in progress to ensure repairs are completed as quickly as possible.

I am pleased to report our response to the Townsville floods saw us trial a series of forums for brokers and customers early in our response to directly engage with those impacted to explain our processes, answer questions, and address any concerns held. We received excellent feedback from this initiative, which we will undertake again for future catastrophe responses as necessary.

We are here to help every step of the way

North Queensland will continue to be an important market for our business, and with our heritage as a Queensland company, we’re all too familiar with the devastating impacts of natural disasters. The damage caused by these floods is significant, but we’ll be with you and your customers every step of the way.