Catastrophe data firm PERILS says hailstones from the South East Queensland Halloween Hailstorms were up to 14cm in diameter

Catastrophe insurance data firm PERILS has published its initial estimate of the insured property and motor market loss for the South East Queensland hailstorms which occurred on 31 October 2020. The estimate, based on loss data collected from the majority of the Australian insurance market, is A$1.23 billion. 

During the afternoon of 31 October, severe thunderstorms impacted South East Queensland, including the surrounding areas of Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. The corridor from Amberley through to the northern suburbs of Logan near Brisbane was the area hardest hit by the event, with hail recorded up to 14cm in diameter. There was also giant hail recorded in the Gympie area up to 7cm in diameter.

In addition to hail, damaging wind gusts occurred between Redcliffe through to Kingston near Brisbane, with gusts over 110 km/h recorded around Moreton Bay region.

Darryl Pidcock, head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, commented: “This is the third hailstorm event in Australia reported by PERILS for 2020, with total industry losses over AUD 3,640 million across the respective hail events. The South East Queensland Halloween Hailstorms were a particularly noteworthy event given the sheer size of the hailstones in some areas and its relatively early occurrence in the 2020/21 summer season.

“It is becoming increasingly important to deliver industry loss information and physical intensity data to the market given the pressures on the industry and the ever more extreme nature of events.”