Insurers have already reported AU$306 million (US$235m) of claims due to damage from tropical cyclone Debbie, with 28,000 individual cases reported across northern and south-easter Queensland and New South Wales.
Yesterday, 3rd April, the total claims reported by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) was AU$224 million, but insurers are picking up new cases very quickly and the total rose to AU$306 milliom by 9am local time the 4th April.
Tropical cyclone Debbie struck the region last week, with wind gusts of up to 260kph, leaving industry sources to suggest an industry loss for insurance and reinsurance capital in the region of AU$1 billion up to levels last seen with 2011’s cyclone Yasi which caused an AU$1.4 billion industrys loss.
Property damage caused by cyclone winds, storm surge, torrential rain and then the severe flooding which has struck parts of the region as cyclone Debbie made its way slowly inland, are all resulting in a significant toll for insurance and reinsurance firms to deal with.
The expectation is that a significant proportion of the losses from cyclone Debbie will fall to the reinsurance industry, including a likelihood that some insurance-linked securities (ILS) fund managers and collateralised reinsurance providers will take an element of the loss.
Australian primary insurers generally have large reinsurance programs and in many cases small retentions, meaning that losses flow through to reinsurance providers relatively quickly when catastrophes strike the country.
We’ll keep you updated as and when new information comes to light.