Retired couple settles into new Lammermoor home after Marcia
THEY'RE almost 80, but Tom and Rita Edmistone finally have a brand new home.
The Lammermoor couple had a laugh about their situation yesterday while speaking to The Morning Bulletin, but it was no laughing matter for the pair when Cyclone Marcia struck in February.
Their family home was torn to pieces, leaving them with no roof, damaged belongings and nowhere to live.
But nine months on, the retired couple are enjoying their new house and gave Suncorp Insurance spokesperson Joshua Cooney a tour yesterday during his visit.
This comes after Suncorp announced almost 90% of their customers displaced by Cyclone Marcia were back in their homes in time for Christmas.
Suncorp received more than 11,000 claims from the disaster, totalling more than $129 million.
Tom and Rita were the first home owners to make a claim with Suncorp after Marcia had passed.
"We've put it all behind us now, it was a hard experience but also a marvellous one because everything's new," Rita said.
"But Suncorp really follow through and have done everything they promised which made the process so much easier for us," Tom added.
Mr Cooney said the recovery had taken a huge effort, especially considering the number of claims and the amount of serious damage sustained.
"Marcia is just one example of the destruction and heartache cyclones inflict on communities," he said.
"We know cyclones will continue to cross our coastline.
"The only way we can really tackle the high risk of cyclone damage on communities is to make them more resilient through stronger homes and buildings.
"Our research partnership with James Cook University sets a pathway to make that happen, starting with a system next year that will reward cyclone resilience measures with premium reductions of up to 20%."
Key claims statistics from Tropical Cyclone Marcia:
More than 11,000 claims lodged (10,400 home claims, 630 motor claims)
Almost 90% of claims finalised
The most severely damaged homes and cars came from Rockhampton (42%), Yeppoon (41%) and Biloela (12%)