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North Queensland storms declared catastrophe

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared North Queensland storms a catastrophe after the Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook regions in particular were hit by heavy rain and flooding.

“Insurers will be mobilising response teams in the coming days to help households and businesses in affected north Queensland areas, where the severe inundation has been experienced,” CEO Rob Whelan said on Saturday.

The ICA and insurers are continuing to closely monitor the catastrophe and are liaising with emergency services and the Queensland government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says about 90% of homes in the town of Ingham are affected, along with many properties and businesses in the wider region.

Mr Whelan says insurers will triage claims to ensure the worst-affected customers receive prompt attention, and urged policyholders to lodge claims and discuss the recovery process as soon as possible.