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Wet and Wild

In Motoring News

By system on Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Following the disastrous weather over the last month, insurance companies have been hit with at least 4,400 claims for flood-damaged motor vehicles in Queensland and Victoria, with the total expected to rise as high as 6,000 as the full extent of the damage is tallied.

In Queensland, claims for about 4,000 drowned and dunked cars and trucks are said to make up 11 per cent of the 38,460 total claims that the Insurance Council of Australia estimates will cost $1.5 billion. In Victoria, a further 420 motor vehicle claims have been made out of a total 4780 claims that are set to cost $69 million.

But the number of damaged vehicles in both states is set to climb as more motorists lodge claims, with one insurance assessor saying the industry ‘guesstimate’ was 6,000 vehicles in Queensland alone.

The silver lining for the motor industry is that, as the claims are settled by insurance companies, a short-term spike in sales is expected to ensue as owners replace their vehicles.

The other boost in activity to the industry is automotive auction yards in Queensland have been swamped with damaged vehicles written off by insurance companies. Major auction houses Manheim and Pickles have both established holding yards for damaged vehicles in Brisbane, with muddy cars lined up by the hundreds.

Most of the salvageable cars are simply being washed and offered for sale as they stand. They range from driveable to barely recognisable. Pickles temporary flood-damaged vehicle yard at Hemmant is holding an estimated 1,200 flood-damaged cars parked nose to tail in rows hundreds of metres long, with delivery trucks lining up to unload more vehicles from flood-hit Queensland cities and towns such as Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane.

While the scale of the flood damage is huge, it is not as great in automotive damage terms as the havoc wrought by hail storms that struck Melbourne and Perth in March 2010, or Sydney in 1999.

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all the enthusiasts who did lose their cars wherever in Australia and we hope the insurance companies help out and provide you with the true worth of the car.