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Cyclone Debbie insured loss raised to AU$1.411 billion by PERILS


The estimate of losses due to cyclone Debbie that will be paid for by the insurance and reinsurance industry has risen again, with PERILS AG reporting a 26% rise in its estimate from AU $1.116 billion to now reach AU $1.411 billion (over US $1.07 billion).

Cyclone Debbie satellite image via USA TodayCyclone Debbie struck parts of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, beginning March 28th 2017 and impacting the country into the early days of April.

Cyclone Debbie resulted in wind gusts as high as 263 km/h, a moderate storm surge along coastal regions and exceptional rainfall, with as much as 643 mm within 24 hours causing surface water and river flooding across parts of Southeast Queensland and Northeast South Wales.

The initial insured property market loss estimate for Tropical Cyclone Debbie from PERILS AG was AUD1.116 billion (almost US $850 million) as of the 9th May, but today the firm has increased the estimate by 26% to AU $1.411 billion (over US $1.07 billion) as more information on loss impacts has flowed in from surveyed re/insurers.

That compares to an estimate from reinsurance broker Aon Benfield of around US $970 million that was released in early May.

Initially, market sources had suggested that the final insured loss from Cyclone Debbie in Australia would be in the range of AUD1 billion up to as much as 2011’s cyclone Yasi at AUD1.4 billion.

Now the estimate has already reached the same level as cyclone Yasi and could have a little further to run, with PERILS set to release its third update on 28th September 2017, which will be six months after the loss event. The third and any following loss estimates will be provided in full resolution, at four-digit postcode level and by the property sub-lines Residential and Commercial.

Reinsurance capital providers, including some insurance-linked securities (ILS) fund managers and collateralized reinsurance vehicles, are set to take a substantial share of the overall insurance market loss from the impact of cyclone Debbie. Although the impact to ILS players is said to be minimal.

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