Insurers warn against 'disaster chasers'

·1-min read

People affected by a massive flood event in NSW are being warned to avoid "disaster chasers", with the insurance bill for the once-in-a-generation event tipped to top $1 billion.

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall says insurers have so far received 9500 claims from residents and business owners.

Most of the claims so far are flowing from the hard-hit Mid-North Coast and Western Sydney regions.

"The floods this time last year - you will remember we had a lot of rain at the end of the drought last year - that event cost insurers around about $1 billion,' Mr Hall told Nine on Tuesday.

"So we are bracing for more claims to come in over the coming days as the waters recede."

The ICA on Monday declared a catastrophe for large parts of NSW hit by storms, heavy rainfall and flooding since last week.

The declaration allows insurers to escalate their response and prioritise the needs of policyholders.

Mr Hall warned people not to deal with "disaster chasers".

These are persons who target those impacted by extreme events and offer to do their claims for them, for a fee.

"You don't need to do that," he warned. "You should immediately be contacting your insurer directly ... You don't need a third party to help you."