January 31, 2019

January 31, 2019 | Broker News

All hands on deck during Sydney’s worst hail storm in 20 years

Sydney's worst hail storm in 20 years swept through the city last December, leaving hundreds of houses and cars battered and thousands of insurance claims in its wake.

Zurich’s Head of Claims Performance & Catastrophe Manager, Peter Mackay, said the Zurich team were well prepared and 'on alert' as they watched the storm move down the east coast of Queensland.

"It's so important to our brokers and customers that we're prepared in advance of severe storm events and are ready to get them back to business quickly. We know the hours and minutes matter to our customers, and it's claim time when our purpose as an insurer really comes to life," Peter said.

The Zurich Catastrophe team were quick to contact key insureds and brokers, engaged emergency resources, and put internal measures in place to handle a high influx of claims.

Zurich's First Response team managed the catastrophe phone line, while the motor claims teams assisted with lodgement and triage. Vendors were put in place for fast, on-site assessments for large clients with extensive damage.

The majority of the 720 claims made to Zurich were motor, and consisted of major corporate clients and many small and medium business customers who rely on their vehicles to keep their business moving.

A key difference with this event was the inclusion of Zurich-backed personal lines start-up Blue Zebra into the reporting and communication loop. This was the first major catastrophe event that involved Blue Zebra since it partnered with Zurich in February 2018 as a broker-only, end-to-end platform designed to allow brokers to compete with the direct players in the personal lines space.