Insurer presents as much as $10k to assist disaster-proof QLD houses

Greater than half of Queensland householders admit they haven’t considered methods to defend their houses from extreme climate occasions like fires, floods and storms.

And one in three mentioned proximity to timber and powerlines had been their prime concern, in accordance with analysis from Suncorp Insurance coverage.

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The insurer said Queensland experienced more than 40 natural hazard events in the past five years, with almost 140,000 claims lodged by Suncorp customers alone.

“We know from our research – and experience – that cost, time constraints and competing priorities prevents homeowners from doing the necessary work to strengthen their homes from natural disasters,” head of Suncorp Insurance Paige Vincent said.

It comes as a flood warning remains current for the lower Macintyre River, with moderate flooding downstream of Goondiwindi, and a strong wind warning has been issued for the Far North.

Queensland’s bushfire season also typically runs from July to October, with cyclone season kicking off in November.

The research found that 51 per cent of Queensland homeowners had not taken action to protect their property, with cost (34 per cent), it not being a priority (18 per cent) and time (9 per cent) being the main barriers.

Those surveyed said other concerns included living in a high wind area, clogged gutters, damaged roofs, windows or doors not being strong enough and cladding in poor condition.

Ms Vincent said homeowners could access up to $10,000 as part of Suncorp’s Build It Back Better initiative.

That money could then be spent on more resilient materials, the installation of cyclone shutters, raising external services like airconditioners and hot water systems, or the installation of roof sprinklers, to name a few.

“We partnered with leading design and resilience experts from Room11 Architects, James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station and CSIRO to design, prototype and test what could be Australia’s most resilient home – One House – and it featured all of these measures,” she said.

“We know that installing cyclone shutters or metal roller blinds, draught stoppers and sacrificial metal gutters and gutter guards helps strengthen a home’s resilience – preventing water, wind and fire from getting inside a home and creating further damage to both property and the people inside.”

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Toowoomba homeowner Michelle Lucas is just one customer who has taken advantage of the initiative.

Her home was damaged during a hailstorm in mid-May.

“We’d been planning on getting some gutter guards given that we do get storms quite frequently and, living in a rural area, we have lots of trees,” Ms Lucas said.

“Being able to put the gutter guards in at no extra cost has been really handy.”

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