The Queensland government’s renewed Household Resilience Programme has been widely welcomed by the insurance industry, with Australian general insurance giant IAG among those pleased with the expanded initiative designed to help residents in cyclone-affected areas.
As part of the first stage of the state’s economic reset, Queensland is extending the successful regional programme to include a further $11.25 million in funding plus a federal government commitment worth $10 million. A breakdown of the application process, eligibility, and covered home improvement options can be found on the Queensland government website.
“By helping households to invest in making their homes more resilient, we’re creating stronger, more confident communities one house, street, and suburb at a time,” said Mark Milliner, IAG’s Australia chief executive. “This will ultimately mean we will be better able to withstand and recover from natural disaster in the future.
“We welcome the renewed investment in this programme from the Queensland and federal governments, and we look forward to continuing our support for our customers who invest in making their home, and community, more resilient into the future, with premium reductions to reflect their lower level of risk.”
Meanwhile Suncorp Insurance CEO Gary Dransfield sees the development as a win not only for cyclone-prone homeowners but also for builders, communities, and regional economies.
Dransfield noted: “Effective investment in economic infrastructure that reduces the impact of natural disasters will help create regional jobs while building safer communities and reducing cost of living pressures through lower insurance premiums.
“Household resilience is the best way to help north Queenslanders protect themselves and their loved ones against cyclones. At the same time, a stronger home means a lower risk and therefore cheaper insurance for customers.”
For the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), the programme is a practical and proven measure, and the trade body is encouraging owners of pre-1984 homes located up to 50km from the coast between Bundaberg and Cooktown to check their eligibility.
“The ICA called for the renewal of the Household Resilience Programme in its September 2019 submission to the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry,” stated ICA communications head Campbell Fuller.
“The insurance industry supported this initiative the first time around and backs the renewal of it this time, particularly in light of the tough financial situation many North Queensland homeowners and tradies are in as a result of COVID-19.”
The first Household Resilience Programme initiative was introduced in July 2018.