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PERILS lifts Cyclone Debbie loss estimate 18% to AU$1.658bn (US$1.3bn)


The insurance and reinsurance industry loss estimate for Cyclone Debbie has been increased by 18% at the latest update by PERILS AG, which now reports the market loss as AU$1.658 billion, which is approximately US$1.3 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.

This is now the third update to the estimate of insurance and reinsurance market losses from Swiss firm PERILS AG, which had initially placed the estimate at AU$1.116 billion (almost US $850 million) as of the 9th May, but the estimate was then lifted 26% to AU $1.411 billion (over US $1.07 billion) on June 28th.

Now, the figure has risen again, as more information on the impact to insurers becomes available, and this third reported set of Cyclone Debbie data is available at postcode level and by property line of business, split between losses classified as ‘Cyclone’ and those classified as ‘Flood’.

Darryl Pidcock, Head of PERILS Asia-Pacific, commented; “We are very happy to be able to make available loss data for Tropical Cyclone Debbie at such a granular level, particularly given the significance of this event for the Australian insurance market. The loss footprint has been produced by collecting detailed loss data from insurance companies active in Australia. We are very grateful for their support, particularly as the preparation of detailed loss information requires significant effort on their part, and remain fully committed to repaying that effort through the provision of high-quality industry data.”

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.

Other estimates came from reinsurance broker Aon Benfield which put the toll as around US $970 million in an early May update on Cyclone Debbie. Reinsurance giant Swiss Re estimated the industry loss as around US $1.3 billion, while fellow giant Munich Re opted for US$1.4 billion.

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