SATISFIED: RPF tradesman Cody Johnston, Gergorio Prevato and Josh Cooney underneath the fixed veranda roof.
SATISFIED: RPF tradesman Cody Johnston, Gergorio Prevato and Josh Cooney underneath the fixed veranda roof. Jacob Wilson

Anxious wait for repairs

HAVING built his own Country Rd home from scratch since coming to Cannonvale in 1958, Gergorio Prevato is the last person to ask for help.

But one week after Cyclone Debbie struck the Whitsunday Coast, he knew he would need to rely on his Suncorp insurance claim to fix the damage to his home.

While Mr Prevato completed his own internal repairs, his home sustained water damage and his veranda roof blew off, requiring a helping hand from RPF tradesman Cody Johnston.

Mr Prevato counts himself among one of Suncorp's "satisfied” customers.

Suncorp spokesperson Josh Cooney said 75% of the 20,000 claims lodged post Cyclone Debbie had been dealt with.

"People are rightly anxious because the next cyclone season is upon us, and there wasn't much of a window to get everything done,” he said.

"We received 20,0000 claims from Cyclone Debbie, so the sheer volume of work in an area like this with a lot of large and quite complex claims has made it quite challenging.

"Typically, if you look at major disasters from Yasi to Marcia, these major disasters will take 12 months and we are not seeing any signs that we will be here shorter than that.”

Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre executive officer Rebecca Woods said she understood the scale of the task ahead of insurance companies, but there were people who lacked certainty.

"In six months time we will be going through another season and we will be nearing a year from Cyclone Debbie which will put pressure on families financially and stress people with the state of repair of their own homes,” she said.

"I'm pushing for everyone to have a signed off scope of works in the very near future as there are a lot of people who don't even have that.”

Mr Cooney said Suncorp understood everyone wanted to recover quickly and said they were tracking at a better rate than with previous disasters.


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