Suncorp has announced that customers in North Queensland will receive premium reductions of up to 20% for strengthening their homes against cyclones.
The Suncorp Cyclone Resilience Benefit is now available to any Suncorp home and landlord insurance holder north of the Tropic of Capricorn and within 100 kilometres of the coast meaning major centres like Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns are eligible.
The benefit has been launched as part of the Protecting the North imitative and Suncorp Insurance CEO, Anthony Day, said that premium reduction rates will vary.
“For a pre-1980s home in an area assessed as having the highest cyclone risk we could see some reductions of up to $600 off a $3,000 Suncorp premium, if the owner has undertaken the full range of improvements such as fixing old roofs and covering windows.
“Suncorp Bank is also helping eligible customers, offering them reduced-rate personal loans to carry out the upgrades.”
Day backed a mitigation approach to natural disasters in Northern Australia as the best way forward for customers.
“Prevention is always better than cure, and mitigation is better than rebuilding and recovering,” Day continued.
“More mitigation would help drive great community benefits like keeping people safe, creating jobs and growing the economy.”
The insurer noted that every dollar spent on retrofits saves the community up to $13 as some home changes would pay for themselves after one category four cyclone.
“There’s a growing chorus of inquiries calling for a greater mitigation effort and we should be acting now rather than waiting for another cyclone to hit,” Day continued.
“That way, we can start reducing now the $10 billion annual damage bill that natural disasters are expected to cost Australia by 2023.”
“Suncorp is proud to protect what matters for Queenslanders and our Protecting the North initiative tackles north Queensland’s biggest natural hazard threat head on – the risk of cyclone impacts on homes and families.
Day noted that the benefit program “is not a silver bullet” for the issues affecting the region but shows what can be achieved for customers in disaster prone areas.
“The Cyclone Resilience Benefit is not a silver bullet to the challenges confronting the region, but it’s an example of what can be achieved if industry, governments and communities work together on finding solutions,” Day said.
“We’re passionate about mitigating the risk of natural disasters and have a strong track record of reducing premiums when this occurs – we’ve already done it in places like Roma, St George and Charleville.
Ref: by Jordan Lynn | 07 Mar 2016