Insurers and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) have welcomed Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s announcement that the Queensland Government, if re-elected, will provide funding to improve the cyclone resilience of older homes in North Queensland.
First announced in June as part of the State Budget, under Pitt’s proposed Household Resilience Program, the State Government would provide 75 per cent of all costs required to improve the cyclone resilience of pre-1980s buildings up to a maximum payment of $11,250.
ICA CEO Rob Whelan said: “The Industry has continuously called for all governments to commit to funding for natural disaster mitigation and community resilience measures and congratulates the Queensland Government for its initiative.”
News outlets have reported that the building industry has also backed the $20 million plan to drive down insurance premiums through a grant to cyclone-proof homes of low-income residents. Pitt said, “Not only does it give potential relief to people in their insurance premiums, some of which have gone up by about 1000 per cent here in the Far North, but we also know it is going to be great for local tradespeople.”
Whelan added, “Should the proposal go ahead, insurers will reflect the improvements to homes through lower premiums, where they are advised the works have been completed and properly certified.”
Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has also welcomed the announcement with spokesperson Kirsty Clinton stating that it supported the policy as weather-proofing homes would reduce financial pressures on many Queensland families affected by wild weather.
She said, “These prevention methods will save households thousands of dollars on expensive works and lead to reduced insurance premiums.”
Whelan concluded, “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.”