SUNCORP SAYS IT'S 'COVERED' AGAINST FINANCIAL COST OF CYCLONE DEBBIE

SUNCORP SAYS IT'S 'COVERED' AGAINST FINANCIAL COST OF CYCLONE DEBBIE

INSURER Suncorp (ASX: SUN) says it is "well protected" against the financial impact of Cyclone Debbie thanks to its main catastrophe program and the purchase of an additional cover.

As the category three cyclone intensifies and heads towards the north Queensland coast between Townsville and Mackay causing forced evacuations, the Brisbane-based insurance giant says its main catastrophe program provides cover from $250 million up to $6.9 billion.

The additional Natural Hazard Aggregate Protection that was purchased for the 2017 financial year provides an extra $300 million as soon as a natural event larger than $5 million tops a level of $460 million for the year.

Suncorp says it has already reached that level so it can tap into the fund to pay for costs from Cyclone Debbie.

"We have the experience and capability to get North Queenslanders back on their feet as quickly as possible," Suncorp CEO Insurance Anthony Day says.

"North Queensland residents are experienced when it comes to these sorts of weather systems," he says.

"They will be well prepared to deal with the devastating effects and be in a good position to protect themselves, their loved ones and their home from the impacts of Cyclone Debbie."

Thousands of north Queenslanders are being evacuated as the Bureau of Meteorology warned this will be the worst storm system since Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

Cyclone Debbie could produce winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour and a four-metre storm surge and is forecast to become a category four when it hits the coast just south of Ayr at 7am on Tuesday.

Evacuation orders are in place for low lying parts of Townsville, the Burdekin region, and the Whitsundays.

"We urge our customers to finalise their preparations today, including making sure all windows are locked down, garage doors secured, emergency kits replenished, spare batteries for flashlights, having an ABC radio and emergency contact numbers handy and, importantly, checking on your neighbours," Day says.

Meanwhile, the company has announced it is seeking to raise $250 million through the issue of its product called Suncorp Capital Notes which will have a face value of $100 and be redeemable by June 2022. 

Quarterly gross distributions will be approximately 5.90 to 6.10 per cent.

Suncorp's share price was trading just over one percent lower at $12.95 at 11am AEST.

Business News Australia

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