The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has extended the catastrophe declaration in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.
Areas of northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland that were not included in the original catastrophe declaration before Cyclone Debbie made landfall last week have now been included.
Rob Whelan, CEO of the ICA, said that 7,500 claims had been lodged on Friday by noon, Queensland time, but he expects that insured losses could reach hundreds of millions as home and business owners return to their properties.
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“This level of catastrophe has not been seen since ex-TC Oswald in 2014, when storms and flooding affected large parts of Queensland and NSW and caused insurance losses of almost $1.2 billion,” Whelan said.
“I assure NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that the insurance industry is harnessing its resources to help customers in a fair and timely manner.”
Up to 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate Lismore and surrounding areas in northern New South Wales last week as flood waters rose to unprecedented levels.
The city is expected to be declared a natural disaster zone as flood levels reached 11.5 metres, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
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