The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has today declared an Insurance Catastrophe for impacted parts of Western Australia from Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
The cyclone made landfall late Sunday with the coastal town of Kalbarri, taking the brunt of Seroja, as did the community of Northampton.
The ICA’s Catastrophe Declaration ensures insurance claims from the impacted areas of Western Australia are prioritised by all insurers.
“TC Seroja has severely damaged, homes, businesses, communications and road
infrastructure as well as the electricity service, across a number of West Australian communities,” said ICA CEO, Andrew Hall.
“Access to areas north of Geraldton is limited, so it is too early to understand the extent of the damage to property in the affected region,” he said.
“Insurers have received just over 700 claims, as yet there is no estimated loss dollar figure as severely impacted areas are currently inaccessible. The ICA expects a substantial increase in claims as soon as tele-communications and power is restored in coming days to affected areas.
“Importantly, this event has impacted a region not normally affected by cyclones, the
destruction of the built environment is severe.”
A Catastrophe declaration means:
• Claims from affected policyholders will be given priority by all insurers;
• Claims will be triaged to direct urgent assistance to the worst-affected property owners;
• The ICA’s disaster hotline is activated 1800 734 621. The ICA hotline offers assistance to policyholders if they are uncertain of their insurance details or have general enquiries about the claims proces
• ICA representatives have been mobilised to work with State and local government
and emergency agencies to assist affected policyholders;
• Insurers have mobilised their disaster response specialists to assist affected
customers with claims and assessments. Assessors are waiting to move into affected communities as soon as emergency services give the go ahead.
• An industry taskforce is established to identify and address issues arising from this