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Mitigation funding to improve insurance affordability

27 July 2018

Suncorp will continue to offer insurance premium reductions and low-interest loans to encourage North Queenslanders to strengthen their homes against cyclones alongside the Queensland Government’s Household Resilience Program.

Welcoming the launch of the Government’s $20 million program to help home owners retrofit their properties, Suncorp Insurance CEO Gary Dransfield said the company had long advocated for investment in cyclone mitigation measures to make communities safer through its Protecting the North initiative.

“Mitigation is the best way to help North Queenslanders protect themselves, their loved ones and their homes against cyclones. At the same time, a stronger home means a lower risk and therefore cheaper insurance for customers,” Mr Dransfield said.

“For the first time, we have a Government that is addressing the core of the problem, not just a band-aid solution.

“Research from James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station shows stronger buildings are the answer to north Queensland’s cyclone challenges, and we encourage the Federal Government to follow suit.

“Not only is mitigation helping to address insurance affordability, it will also assist with job creation and growing the economy in the region.”

The Government’s Household Resilience Program will fund 75 per cent of the costs required to improve the cyclone resilience of pre-1980s buildings, up to a maximum payment of $11,250.

This complements Suncorp’s Cyclone Resilience Benefit that rewards customers in North Queensland with insurance premium reductions of up to 20 per cent for making their homes more cyclone resilient.

“We launched our Cyclone Resilience Benefit just over two years ago and more than 40,000 customers have signed-up and are receiving a reduced premium,” Mr Dransfield said.

“This is a major milestone and shows customers are taking action, and being rewarded, for making their homes stronger. 

“The funding from the Government is great news for our North Queensland customers, who can double-down on savings by combining this with our insurance premium reductions.”

Suncorp will also continue to offer a no-fee, low interest rate personal loan, designed to help finance the costs of mitigation improvements. Customers can apply in-store or over the phone.

“This isn’t just about cheaper insurance – it’s about providing peace of mind for home owners and reducing the destruction and heartache caused by cyclones,” Mr Dransfield said.

Ends

 

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About Suncorp’s Protecting the North

In 2015 Suncorp launched Protecting the North, a major insurance and safety package for North Queensland.  At the heart of the policy program are practical solutions to tackle insurance affordability by reducing cyclone risk and rewarding mitigation activities that strengthen homes and communities.

Existing Initiatives

  • Cyclone Resilience Benefit (CRB): In March 2016, Suncorp Insurance launched the CRB which rewards customers in North Queensland with premium reductions of up to 20 per cent for making their homes more cyclone resilient. This initiative was developed using extensive claims analysis and research in partnership with the Cyclone Testing Station (CTS) at James Cook University (JCU).
  • Small Strata: In April 2015, Suncorp released a new strata insurance product into the market. The product is designed to provide cover for small residential strata titled properties, community titled properties or residential properties associated with a body corporate or owner’s corporation (up to 10 units or $5 million sum insured).
  • Resilience Improvements: The strata insurance product contains an industry-first resilience feature which supports customers to enhance their building’s resilience.
  • Low income Insurance: In September 2015, Suncorp teamed up with Good Shepherd Microfinance to roll out an insurance product that provides low-income earners with contents and motor cover from as little as $4 a week. The award-winning Essentials was created to provide better access to affordable, easy-to-understand products via a trusted network of providers.
  • Protecting the North Bank Loan: Suncorp now provides a no-fee, low-interest bank loan designed to help North Queensland customers finance mitigation improvements made to their homes to make them more resilient to cyclone damage. The new low-cost personal loan features an interest rate of 4.99 per cent per annum and Suncorp waives all establishment and account keeping fees.
  • Cyclone Ready Streets: Suncorp initiated the Cyclone Ready Streets program to raise awareness and promote behavioural change toward improved community preparedness for cyclones. working with experts to design a possible retrofit program to strengthen older North Queensland homes against cyclone impacts which could also deliver significant insurance savings, subject to further analysis.

Future Initiatives

  • Exploring potential expansion of the Cyclone Resilience Benefit
  • Exploring a new Cyclone Resilience Benefit for strata buildings
  • Investigating the feasibility of a Build To Last – Home Retrofit Design Competition
  • Engaging with partners to launch Climate Adaptation Study for north Queensland

For more information contact:

Media

Ally Foley   0419 794 294

James Spence   0436 457 886

Twitter: @SuncorpGroup

LinkedIn: Suncorp Group

Facebook: SuncorpAUNZ

 

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