More than 75% of insurance claims lodged following Cyclone Debbie have been closed just six months after the Category Four cyclone struck the Queensland coast near Airlie Beach, says the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
The ICA figures show households and businesses in Queensland and New South Wales lodged 68,848 Debbie-related claims, with insurance losses estimated at A$1.473 billion (US$1.16 billion).
Insurance Council CEO Rob Whelan said insurers had worked diligently to help their customers, with claims stretching from the Whitsundays through to southern NSW – an area three times larger than the United Kingdom. He said the closure rate was running 12% ahead of similar disasters.
“Insurers have now closed more than 75% of Cyclone Debbie claims,” he said. “This means more than 31,000 homes and businesses have been repaired or received settlements, 20,000 families have had their possessions replaced, and more than 4,500 motor vehicles have been fixed or new vehicles provided.
“Most of the remaining claims are large-scale building repairs, with often complex scopes of work. These naturally can take longer to finish, as with any significant building projects.”
Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie is branded the most dangerous cyclone to impact Queensland since Cyclone Yasi in 2011. It made landfall in Queensland on 28 March. Afterwards, it weakened into a tropical low but moved south for 1,000 km, causing significant damage and flooding in Southeast Queensland and Victoria.