ICA backs initiative to cyclone-proof pre-1980 homes

ICA backs initiative to cyclone-proof pre-1980 homes | Insurance Business

ICA backs initiative to cyclone-proof pre-1980 homes
Old Queensland homes could soon be made more resilient against storms and cyclones under a new policy announced by Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt – a proposal welcomed by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

If re-elected, the Queensland government will commit $20m toward greater cyclone mitigation and resilience in northern Queensland under the proposed Household Resilience Program. The fund will be used to improve the resilience of pre-1980s buildings, providing 75% of all the costs to cyclone-proof a building up to a maximum payment of $11,250.

"The industry has continuously called for all governments to commit to funding for natural disaster mitigation and community resilience measures and congratulates the QLD government for its initiative,” ICA CEO Rob Whelan said.

Whelan said that should the proposal push through, “insurers will reflect the improvements to homes through lower premiums, where they are advised the works have been completed and properly certified.”

"The ICA believes this initial plan should be implemented across the whole of cyclone-affected North Queensland and could serve as a template for improving the resilience of pre-1980 homes across the whole of northern Australia," he said. 

Insurer Suncorp also welcomed the initiative, stressing the benefits of “some simple, low-cost retrofits to homes” against cyclone risk.

“Helping north Queenslanders protect themselves, their loved ones, and their homes against cyclones will bring significant economic, social, and cost-of-living benefits,” Suncorp Insurance CEO Gary Dransfield said.

Dransfield said Suncorp's Protecting the North program has demonstrated the benefits of a household resilience scheme and also provides compelling evidence for the need for government investment.

“Suncorp’s Cyclone Resilience Benefit, launched in March 2016, has so far reduced insurance premiums by up to 20% for approximately 35,000 customers in northern Queensland, who have reported roof upgrades, covered windows, stronger doors, and property maintenance,” the Suncorp insurance boss said.

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