(Australian Associated Press)
Insurer IAG has cut its full-year margin guidance due to an estimated $140 million in claims from Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
The company behind NRMA Insurance and CGU has so far received about 4,300 claims, mainly for property damage, from the then category four storm which made landfall in central Queensland last week before flooding large parts of the state’s south, the far north coast of NSW.
IAG said it is now forecasting an insurance margin of between 10.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent in 2016/17, down from the previous 12.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent.
Chief executive Peter Harmer said the cyclone was a highly unusual and complex event with devastating impacts.
“Our immediate concern is for our customers and their communities, and we have our people and partners on the ground in the affected areas to make sure they feel supported and safe,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Harmer said damage assessments were well advanced in affected areas and they had contracted local builders to make critical repairs.
IAG said the $140 million in Debbie claims will take its net natural peril claims cost to $850 million in the 12 months to June 30.
The insurer already had $650 million in natural peril claims cost on the books for the eight months to February 28.
It said the northern Sydney hailstorm in late February had cost it $160 million and other events in March had cost $50 million.
The insurer said it had budgeted for the further $100 million in natural peril claims for the final three months of the 2017 financial year.