Gabrielle first cyclone to trigger ARPC pool cover – Daily – Insurance News

Cyclone Gabrielle has become the first event where cover will be provided under the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC) scheme that came into effect last year to improve insurance affordability in northern regions.

Gabrielle started to affect Norfolk Island on Friday February 11, with the cyclone moving past the island that night. The most destructive winds just missed the territory, but still caused some property damage and knocked down power lines and trees.

“This is the first cyclone event where ARPC has active insurer customers, and we look forward to working with them to fulfill our obligations under the Act,” the ARPC says on its LinkedIn page.

The ARPC is still awaiting loss notifications, but expects claims to be relatively small, a spokesman told

Under the rules for the new reinsurance pool, cover is triggered within 24 hours of the Bureau of Meteorology advising that a cyclone exists and is likely to affect a part of Australia. The cover period ends 48 hours after the bureau says the system is no longer a tropical cyclone.

ARPC declared Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle as an event under the Terrorism and Cyclone Insurance Act, effective 11am on Thursday February 9. The event claims period ended on Tuesday February 14 at 3am, two days after Gabrielle had fallen below Category One intensity.

Allianz, which joined the pool for householder insurance from January 1, has received some Norfolk Island claims. Sure Insurance, the only other insurer to have joined the pool so far, specialises in northern Queensland.

Emergency Management Norfolk Island Controller George Plant says wind speeds from the cyclone were less severe than initially feared, and buildings and residences are not in flood-prone areas.

“For us it was a lucky break,” he told “We have just had our debrief, and we have recommended as a number one priority that we consider subsidies or grants to householders to start improving the resilience of the housing stock here.”

Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia located 1673km northeast from Sydney and 1074km from Auckland, has a population of 2188 based on the 2021 census. Responsibility for territories lies within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

Although no longer technically a cyclone, Gabrielle has caused significant damage in New Zealand, with four people killed. Yesterday Suncorp said it was receiving an insurance claim every minute.

The New Zealand MetService says the threat has not yet passed.

“Although Cyclone Gabrielle is moving away from New Zealand and severe weather has eased in most places, heavy rain continues to impact parts of central New Zealand through until Thursday evening. In addition, large waves are still affecting the eastern parts of the country today,” it said.

In the tropics, the strongest winds and most intense rain associated with a tropical cyclone usually occur just outside the eye, but as the systems move southward and lose their symmetric cloud patterns, the strongest winds and heaviest rain can be hundreds of kilometres from the centre, MetService says.

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