January 29, 2020 / 10:17 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Suncorp expects bushfire, hailstorm costs to stay within provision

(Adds background on weather events, details)

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Australia’s Suncorp Group said on Thursday that costs from the devastating bushfires, hailstorms and heavy rainfall across the country will likely be capped at A$300 million ($205 million) and stay within its full-year provision.

The insurer said it received more than 25,000 claims due to the hailstorms and over 1,400 claims as a result of the heavy rains.

“This has been an unprecedented start to the bushfire and storm season in Australia,” Chief Executive Steve Johnston said in a statement.

Natural hazard costs in the first-half were unchanged at A$519 million, Suncorp said, adding that it expected reinsurance program to help full-year costs remain within its A$820 million provision.

Costs from the bushfires alone in the first-half were A$145 million, with an extra A$75 million to A$105 million expected in the second half, the company said.

Insurance Australia Group last week cut its fiscal 2020 insurance margin guidance following the surge in hailstorm-related claims.

$1 = 1.4622 Australian dollars Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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