Suncorp and IAG announce cyclone research partnership

Suncorp and IAG will join forces with James Cook University to study the impact of tropical cyclones on strata properties in North Queensland.

The insurers will work with the Cyclone Testing Unit at the university to better understand the impact of wind-driven rain and water entry, which is a major cause of damage to buildings – and has a major impact on insurance pricing for strata properties.

IAG and Suncorp will share data with JCU to use in its research, which will provide designers, builders and insurers with a better understanding of the common drivers of claims costs in strata properties during cyclones. The study will also provide recommendations to help mitigate against the impacts of cyclones for residents.

Commenting on the cyclone research partnership, IAG Chief Executive Australian Business Division, Ben Bessell, said: “This initiative is a great step towards supplying and sharing more information that will empower residents to make more informed decisions, and actively manage their risk to reduce the impact from wind-driven rain.”

Suncorp Insurance CEO, Anthony Day, added: “It’s another important step in making North Queensland a safer and more resilient community.”

JCU Director of the Cyclone Testing Station, Dr David Henderson, said it was vital to have government, business and the community involved in cyclone research projects of this nature to help identify ways to reduce the damage caused by wind-driven rain, and to help residents safeguard their homes.

“The damage from heavy wind-driven rain and water entry is a major cause of stress and anxiety during storms as owners are trying to stop the water damage, as opposed to sheltering away from windows,” Dr Henderson said.

“If we can determine cost effective measures for mitigating water entry for existing construction and enhancing industry standards that includes testing for future building systems, we are confident many in the community will benefit.”