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December hailstorms to hit Suncorp's reinsurance program

Suncorp Group Ltd. said total claim costs from the hailstorms that hit the Sydney, Central Coast and South East Queensland regions in December 2018 are expected to surpass the maximum first event retention within its reinsurance program.

The company received a total of 24,800 claims so far, expecting the number to increase as customers come back from holidays. The retention limits the financial impact of the event to A$250 million pretax.

For the second half of 2018, Suncorp now expects total natural hazard costs in Australia and New Zealand of between A$600 million and A$610 million, which is above its allowance of A$360 million. The company now projects natural hazard costs above the first half of 2019 allowance of A$240 million to A$250 million.

Suncorp's reinsurance program is backed by an additional natural hazard aggregate protection cover that provides A$300 million of cover for events greater than A$10 million when aggregate costs reach A$504 million. An estimated A$415 million of the deductable has been eroded as of Dec. 31, 2018.