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Ita losses hit $8.4 million

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Insured losses from Cyclone Ita in north Queensland have reached about $8.4 million, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

CEO Rob Whelan says 680 claims were received by April 15, with no further updates yet available.

Teams of assessors have travelled to Cairns and ICA sent a disaster recovery specialist to Cooktown to liaise with authorities and identify and resolve insurance-related issues.

Mr Whelan says insurers have been prioritising cyclone claims, and he urges cyclone-hit property owners to contact their insurers as soon as possible.

ICA has also echoed warnings from Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie about scammers going door to door offering unsolicited repairs.

The Category 4 cyclone made landfall in an area of relatively low population near Cooktown on April 11. It then moved down the coast, causing power outages, flooding and damage to sugarcane and banana plantations.

ICA has declared Ita a catastrophe for areas of north Queensland, meaning insurers give priority to cyclone claims.

New Zealand caught the end of Ita over the Easter weekend, with the South Island’s west coast suffering wind damage. There was also flooding for the second time in two months in parts of Christchurch, where some land has sunk following the earthquakes.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand told insuranceNEWS.com.au it is too early to estimate losses.