The insurance response to catastrophe and natural disasters

In the last five years we have seen countless natural disasters strike across the globe and how this has impacted the lives of people, destroying homes and businesses.

As a result catastrophe response and adapting to emerging risks is of critical importance to most businesses and ensuring they have an informed view of the steps they need to take if their assets are under threat from natural or man-made incidents is paramount.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) defines catastrophe events as “large natural or man-made disasters that cause a significant number of insurance claims in a region”. Within Australia these events typically arise from natural disasters such as Bushfires, Cyclones, Hail, Flood, Earthquake or Severe Storms.

Damien Gilhooley, GB’s General Manager – Catastrophe Response, understands the importance of establishing long term sustainable partnerships with Clients, prior to peak demand to facilitate effective resource planning over and above the mere temporary allocation of labor.

“Catastrophe management is provided to Insurers and Governments (for example we provided services to insurers for claims arising from Cyclone YASI and to the New Zealand Earthquake Commission for their response to the Christchurch earthquakes) and requires the rapid ramp up and deployment of skilled staff to handle the administration of large volumes of claims.”

“As a business, we care for our customers, the community and their future, that’s why we’ve been helping clients since 1997 in rapidly deploying claims teams to respond to catastrophe situations.”

“Following Tropical Cyclone Debbie that impacted Queensland and NSW at the end of March, Gallagher Bassett was appointed by a number of clients to manage a large volume of catastrophic claims which have resulted from the category four cyclone.”

Unfortunately we cannot prevent catastrophes from happening however we can better manage the influx of insurance claims that are lodged as a result of any catastrophic event. As advocates of insurance, it is our role to support the community in times of difficulty and do everything we can in helping with the return to normality following a catastrophic event.