Cyclone Debbie now ranks as the second most expensive cyclone in Australian history, and the most expensive cyclone to hit Queensland, with A$1 billion (US$766 million) paid in insurance claims and more than 85% of claims now closed.
In a statement yesterday on Cyclone Debbie, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said that insurance losses have reached A$1.565 billion from 72,767 claims.
Since mid-September, a further 3,919 household and business claims have been lodged, adding A$89 million to the total losses. Despite the fresh lodgements, more than 85% of claims have been closed.
ICA CEO Rob Whelan said insurers had paid about A$355 million in repairs and services in the past six weeks alone, and the industry’s response to Cyclone Debbie claimants was the fastest on record.
“Insurers are injecting A$11.8 million each working day into affected communities stretching from the Whitsundays through to southern New South Wales,” he said. “The closure rate for Cyclone Debbie is running at least 15% ahead of any previous natural disaster."
The most costly cyclone on record is the 1974 Cyclone Tracy which cost A$4.1 billion in insurance losses in 2015 dollars. Cyclone Yasi, which struck in 2011, cost insurance losses of A$1.532 billion.