The research, entitled Build to Last and part of the Protecting the North initiative, found that for every dollar spent on low-cost retrofits, the community will save at least $3.
The study also found that every dollar spent on the installation of strapping on replaced roofs could deliver approximately $12.
The joint Suncorp Insurance-cyclone testing Station (CTS)-Urbis work found that North Queenslanders would be safer whilst also reaping the benefits of greater economic activity and lower insurance costs thanks to a retrofit program.
Suncorp Personal Insurance CEO, Mark Milliner, said the report details the case for a government-funded retrofit program that would prove hard to ignore.
“We now have a pathway toward effective cyclone resilience in North Queensland,” Milliner said.
“Build to Last shows clearly that cyclone resilience is smart for the homeowner, smart for government and smart for the whole region – it makes good economic and social sense.
“Every taxpayer dollar spent subsidising insurance and not retrofitting and building North Queensland to withstand a cyclone, is a dollar wasted on hiding the problem.
“We believe a Government-funded retrofit program is the best solution and Suncorp is committed to reducing premiums up to 20 per cent for North Queensland homes that are retrofitted.”
The research of thousands of Suncorp claims found that 86% of claims from the devastating Cyclone Yasi were “minor and preventable,” highlighting the need for an incentivised government program.
James Cook University’s CTS director, Dr David Henderson, said that the findings show the potential a retrofit program could have for the region.
“The analysis shows preventing such failures through a retrofit program (e.g. roof upgrades, door retrofits, window protection) will greatly improve our community’s resilience, significantly reduce the size and number of claims, and have a positive effect on premium prices in North Queensland.”
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