The aftermath of Cyclone Debbie

Did Tropical Cyclone Debbie Hit You?

More than two weeks after the brutal storm smashed the central Queensland coastline, making its way south to New South Wales, business owners, farmers and homeowners alike are still seeking help as clean-up efforts continue.

Dubbed the strongest storm to hit Queensland since Cyclone Yasi in 2011, thousands of residents and tourists were trapped by Debbie’s torrential rain, heavy winds and widespread blackouts.

Residents were urged to evacuate, and anyone left stranded was told to stay indoors.

The Aftermath of Cyclone Debbie

The country is still in shock as Queensland and NSW are recovering from this devastating storm. The damage caused by Cyclone Debbie is still being assessed, as reports continue to come in, however, the outlook so far is grim.

The central Queensland sugarcane industry has lost roughly $150 million worth of its crops, while many Whitsundays’ resorts have been forced to close their doors for repairs.

According to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive, Daniel Gschwind, a lot of work needs to be done to get the $700 million tourism industry back on track.

Heading a little closer to home, properties along the coast have sustained varying rates of damage. Lost roofs, broken windows and damaged fences are just the beginning, as flooding has ruined flooring and furniture, and many people have been forced out of their homes because they have become unliveable.

It seems the only upside of the storm is that cattle farmers have praised the heavy rain as ‘welcome’, as previously thirsty paddocks can now been seen as sweeping green fields on satellite images.

What’s Happening with Insurance Claims?

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared Cyclone Debbie as a ‘catastrophe’, as more than 90 per cent of North Queenslanders and affected NSW residents have some form of insurance coverage, and most home and contents insurance policies in the region include cyclone damage.

While the final damage bill is yet to be determined, it’s estimated the cost will be well into the billions. While some properties may look fine from the outside, it’s common for buildings to sustain hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage on the inside, regardless of how new or old the building is.

If you’ve been affected by the storm and haven’t already done so, now is the time to call your insurer to find out how much coverage you have, and to determine what steps need to be taken to make your claim and start repairs.

It’s also worth checking with your insurer what your excess is, because if you have only sustained minimal losses, lodging a claim may not be financially worthwhile. If you’re only claiming food spoilage from the loss of power or flooding to your business, some insurers will be waiving the excess fee for you.

Sarina Insurance has already lodged 123 claims from people who have been affected by Cyclone Debbie, with more still coming in. Simple claims, such as lost food from spoilage, and flooded interiors have already been settled, while we’re currently in the process of getting builders quotes for properties that have sustained more substantial damage.

Sarina Insurance is on standby and ready to help any of our customers who have been affected by the storm. Talk to us today to see how we can assist you.