The West

This Ocean Reef home suffered extensive damage in the wild storm.
This Ocean Reef home suffered extensive damage in the wild storm.

The financial cost of the storms which battered Perth last week has soared to $650 million, making it the most expensive catastrophe in WA.

About 89,000 claims for damage have been lodged since last Monday's destructive hailstorm, the Insurance Council of Australia said today.

The insurance industry has activated its disaster plan to deal with the huge amount of claims that are still being made in Perth.

Sandra Van Dijk, from ICA, said the industry was pulling together to try and speed up the recovering process.

"I think they (insurance companies) are responding very well. We worked very quickly setting up the insurance taskforce within 24 hours of the event and are responding as quickly as possible," she said.

Ms Van Dijk said it had been busy recently for insurance companies, with the damage bill for January's storm in Victoria topping $880 million.

The damage bill for the Perth storms on March 22 has dwarfed the cost of other disasters in the State.

December's destructive bush fire in Toodyay cost $7.4 million. The Varanus Island gas explosion cost $230 million. A storm in the South-West in August 2006 cost $5.2 million.

The West Australian

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