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Business claims take Marcia toll past $403 million


A surge in claims from businesses following Cyclone Marcia last month has taken insured losses to $403.6 million from 29,565 claims, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

The figure is up from an estimated $130.5 million from 17,400 claims on March 4.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan says the steady rise “was to be expected following a catastrophe” and insurers are now handling hundreds of business claims lodged through insurance brokers.

“These business claims are for a wide range of cyclone-related losses, from property and vehicle damage to business interruption. Many of these cases are quite complex.”

About 93% of all claims are in personal lines, but commercial claims account for 26% of insured losses to date.

Most domestic claims are from Yeppoon, Rockhampton and neighbouring towns on the central Queensland coast.

“A large proportion of the properties severely damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Marcia were older buildings,” Mr Whelan said.

“There is a silver lining to this catastrophe. Most insured properties will be rebuilt or repaired to today’s cyclone building standards, which will ensure they have greater resilience to cyclones that may affect the region in the future.”

ICA is holding forums for insured property-owners affected by Marcia. Insurance company representatives will be present.

The meetings are for claimants only and will cover claims and handling, assessment, settlement options, site clean-up and rebuilding, and dispute resolution.

They will be held in Yeppoon on Wednesday and Rockhampton on Thursday. People who wish to attend must register by calling 1800 734 621


Photograph: Shelly Allsop/AFP/Getty Images