Total Loss Development Curve

Is it possible to predict at an early stage of a disaster event what the total loss may ultimately be? Every event is unique, variables such as time of year, metro vs rural, demographics and impacts to communications infrastructure can have a significant impact on how quickly claims are lodged and assessed (for value). By averaging the loss development curve for each of the last 10 catastrophes (by hazard) the ICA has created an average loss development curve for disaster events. The results show that the total loss for a Bushfire event is typically known after 5 months, for flood, cyclone and hail it is 8 months. These results are informative, but should not be relied upon for financial decisions.

The Insurance Council collects catastrophe related claims data from the Australian market as part of its role in supporting the industry to deliver repairs, rebuilding and recovery services following large disasters.

The ICA Catastrophe Database commenced in 1967 and records insurance loss estimates for declared insurance catastrophe events since that time.

Data collected includes claims lodged by class, denied claims, and losses by class of business. Data collection and reporting has been enhanced overtime, older events may lack high resolution data in many examples, often just having the overall aggregate loss recorded at the time.

The database also contains a normalised loss figure for each event, which represents the potential value of the loss if the event were to reoccur today, taking into account changes in building codes, trades and material costs, population and demographics.

The process used for normalisation is available here.

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