The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has lent its support to a AUD $20 million (USD $15 million) Household Resilience Program for homes in North Queensland’s cyclone belt, recently introduced by the region’s Palaszczuk Government.
The program will provide funding for owners of homes built before 1984 to improve their safety and resilience through roof upgrades, better roof tie-downs, and strengthening of windows and doors.
Retro-fitting older homes to improve their resilience against cyclones ensures a lower-risk property, which may also result in cheaper insurance premiums.
Rob Whelan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ICA, said: “The insurance industry supports this initiative. Homes strengthened through the program could potentially place homeowners in a position to negotiate a reduction in their future building insurance premiums.”
The ICA has also encouraged residents in the effected area, which stretches up to 50km from the coast between Bundaberg and Cooktown in Queensland, to check their eligibility for the Household Resilience Program.
“If this initiative can reduce the stress of homeowners in cyclone-prone areas just a little and also reduce the pressure on premiums, then it’s a program that should be supported and promoted,” Whelan added.
“The program is an example of how governments can work to improve the resilience of homes and communities in disaster-prone regions. The ICA encourages governments at all levels to appreciate the importance of mitigation investment.”