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Long wait to settle cyclone insurance claims

Long wait to settle cyclone insurance claims

Hundreds of of us are aloof waiting for hundreds and hundreds of greenbacks in insurance claims to be settled four months on from the unheard of devastation of Tropical Cyclone Seroja in Western Australia’s mid-west. 

Key aspects:

  • Four months after Cyclone Seroja hit the mid-west, hundreds of insurance claims are aloof to be settled
  • Some residents are frustrated by what they voice is late verbal change with insurers
  • The Insurance Council of Australia says delays are due to points, including border closures and abilities shortages

While the coastal town of Kalbarri bore the brunt of the cyclone, the gadget precipitated well-liked spoil to houses and businesses across 16 native executive areas because it moved south-west across the pronounce. 

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Some of us are continuing to reside below roofs covered by tarpaulins as they wait for knowledge from their insurance companies about their spoil claims. 

Others are aloof waiting for tradespeople to restore their homes. 

Rod O’Bree’s historic Yanget homestead end to Geraldton lost parts of its roof tiling in the cyclone. 

Non everlasting slay-protected measures of tarps and sandbags absorb weathered in four months of wintry weather rain and winds, permitting extra water into the homestead.

Headshot of middle-aged man with blonde hair with blurry palm trees in background

Rod O’Bree has been waiting to hear support from his insurer after Seroja tore a part off the roof of his century-worn residence.(

ABC Midwest Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis


“Or no longer it is getting via in just a few spots, the drips. Now we absorb just a few buckets in the roof now,” Mr O’Bree stated. 

“We’re catching a good little bit of it, however basically the most well-liked bit with the winds we got closing weekend absorb destroyed the sandbags and the tarps.

Mr O’Bree has been told his roof will likely be mounted soon, however the wait has been frustrating. 

No planning with out knowledge

Mullewa farmer Rod Messina estimated the spoil invoice to his farm’s sheds, silos, fences and houses to be around $1 million. 

He has also been frustrated at a lengthy wait time to hear the final consequence of his insurance claims. 

A man in blue jeans, long sleeve shirt, puffer vest and beanie stands in front of a truck carrying chemical tanks.

Rod Messina is aloof waiting to hear the effects of his insurance claims.(

ABC Midwest Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis


“We’ve been so busy with a reduce this twelve months that somewhat tons of us likely haven’t worried about it too significant on legend of it hasn’t been on the forefront of our minds.

“But now that issues are starting up to decelerate and the reduce is getting to the save it is, we slay want to begin up rebuilding.”

Stories of late verbal change

Headshot of a blonde-haired woman wearing glasses, white shirt and green jacket.

Member for the Agricultural Enviornment Sandra Carr says insurance companies want to act speedy and resolve outstanding claims.(

ABC Midwest Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis


Member for the Agricultural Enviornment Sandra Carr stated she became listening to an analogous issues about late verbal change with insurance companies from of us moral across the cyclone’s affect zone. 

“Issues fancy questioning claims, announcing that spoil became finished prior to the cyclone or no longer precipitated by the cyclone, or constantly having to reassess after which correct no longer getting their scope of works,” she stated. 

“Over the 40,000 square kilometres [of cyclone-affected area], we now absorb of us across that total affect zone who slay no longer absorb claims that had been current yet, 4,000 of us waiting, aloof waiting for their claims to be current.”

Ms Carr urged of us to be aware the insurance complaints direction of and to be unafraid to complain if they had been unhappy. 

“I slay reflect it be crucial to reassure of us that there’s support accessible and they also are allowed to direct and request questions.

“They are going to in the starting up wrestle via their insurance company’s internal disputes direction of, after which there’s the Australian Insurance Council, whose role is to liaise between the insurance company and the consumer.” 

A silver tarpaulin on the edge of a pitched tiled roof is held down at the sides by sandbags.

Sandbags defend down a tarpaulin covering spoil to Rod O’Bree’s tiled roof. (

ABC Midwest Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis


Causes in the support of delays

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall stated delays in repairs had been due to a mixture of factors, including COVID-19 border closures, a abilities scarcity and an influx of claims from across the nation. 

“We’re very worried in regards to the communities around the house that had been impacted by Cyclone Seroja.”

Aerial view of a tin shed with two sections of roof missing, in green paddock with yellow canola in the distance.

Mammoth sections of the roof of Rod O’Bree’s shearing shed had been ripped off all via Cyclone Seroja. (

ABC Midwest Wheatbelt: Chris Lewis


Unable to bodily commute into WA, the council is about to begin up one-on-one online consultations with of us in the cyclone’s affect zone who want help with their claims. 

“Now we absorb specialised teams [that] commute the nation doing this. Sadly, the West Australian border restrictions absorb avoided us from doing [that] this time,” Mr Hall stated. 

“One of many points about rebuilding, for many of us now, is that when they gather support they’ve to gather support better.

“So what may maybe well wish been a residence constructed 40 years up to now will want to be reconstructed in a mode that would maybe be in a position to withstanding cyclones.” 

Mr Hall urged of us to register for a session by the spend of the Insurance Council web role.


Long wait to settle cyclone insurance claims