Suncorp: 'We will be there again for north Queenslanders'

Suncorp customer Michael Caruana (left) who lost eight motorcyles, discusses his claim with Jason Eversham.
Suncorp customer Michael Caruana (left) who lost eight motorcyles, discusses his claim with Jason Eversham.

AS Cyclone Debbie's path of destruction slowly begins to clear, claims are flooding in to insurers.

By Friday morning, Suncorp had received 25,000 over the phone claims associated with Cyclone Debbie, and company spokesman Joshua Cooney was expecting that number to "rise significantly" with the arrival of a customer response team in Mackay.

Mr Cooney said the additional service was being provided to give customers a chance to talk to someone face-to-face about what had happened to them, and also necessary due to power and communications failures.

As soon as the Caneland Central Suncorp branch opened on Friday, people gathered to begin the claims process.

"We are under no illusions about how enormous this task is ahead of us - it's massive," Mr Cooney said.

"Cyclone Debbie has just packed a real punch and has gone right through this region... this has happened in our own backyard, this what we do, and we have many staff members that are fully trained for these types of situations.

"...We will be there again for north Queenslanders."

Suncorp aims to have a number of customer response teams throughout the region.

"As soon as we can base ourselves in areas such as Proserpine, Airlie and Bowen we will," Mr Cooney said.

"The aim is to have much coverage as possible so that people can speak to us face-to-face on the ground.

"We owe to it to our customers to do everything we can to achieve some sense of normality to this region as soon as possible.

One customer at Caneland Friday morning was Michael Caruana, of Pleystowe, who said the damage he has sustained had "wrecked" him.

His home wasn't affected, but he watched the water rise along Station Rd, reaching his shed and damaging eight of his motorcycles.

Only the one he rode was insured, the rest - collectable motorcycles - were damaged.

"They've all gone under water," he said.

"I feel a mess, I'm very shaken up, I'm not very good; but at the same time I'm okay, I'm sure there is more people worse of than me.

"I still had my roof - we had five foot of water but we still have electricity. I've been able to cook meals and have showers, we've been quite lucky."

It's the first time Mr Caruana, has had to lodge a claim, and he's hopeful everything will go smoothly.

Mr Cooney has urged customers to submit their claims as soon as possible to begin the process.

Topics:  cyclone cyclone debbie insurance insurance claim mackay weather suncorp bank weather

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