Insurers sign up to help flooded homeowners build back better
Published Thursday, 27 October, 2022 at 03:38 PM
Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Major insurers have signed up to help flood-affected Queensland homeowners repair and return to their homes sooner.
A new partnership agreement has been signed between the State Government and Suncorp and RACQ to assist policy holders eligible for assistance under the Australian and Queensland governments’ $741 million Resilient Homes Fund.
The arrangements provide an opportunity for some homeowners to have their insurance builder complete government-funded resilience works at the same time as repairs approved under their policies.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said over 7000 homes were damaged in last summer’s devastating floods which struck South East Queensland.
“The flooding we saw last storm season was catastrophic, and its unprecedented nature required an extraordinary response from all levels of government,” Minister Watt said.
“This partnership will help streamline the process for homeowners, particularly those who are eligible for funding to raise or retrofit their homes.”
Deputy Premier Steven Miles congratulated Suncorp and RACQ for helping the recovery efforts.
“We’re continuing to build back better to ensure we are better prepared for the next flood,” Mr Miles said.
“Assistance through the Resilient Homes Fund is available to both insured and uninsured homeowners to ensure we help as many Queenslanders as possible.”
Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the State Government would continue to work with the insurance industry and the Insurance Council of Australia to streamline the funding process for impacted homeowners.
“Suncorp and RACQ are the state’s largest and most trusted insurers, so having them working with us means that homeowners will benefit from having their homes repaired and more resilient to extreme weather events. Mr de Brenni said.
“And insurers will benefit as works will follow the Palaszczuk Government’s nation-leading flood resilient design guidelines that help minimise future flood damage to homes.
“The partnership will enable us to rapidly test and refine a process to ensure we can deliver quality outcomes and value for money before a broader rollout.
“We’re also continuing to talk to a number of other insurers which had also indicated a willingness to help deliver the program.”
Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said the program highlighted the importance of governments at all levels, insurers, customers and communities working together to design solutions that better protect people, homes and communities from the increasing threat of natural disasters.
“We all have a critical role to play when it comes to being better prepared for and protected against severe weather and it’s great to see progress being made on this front,” he said.
“Hopefully this program will become the benchmark and blueprint for delivery of assistance to all Australians impacted by natural disasters, especially given recent events in the southern states.”
RACQ Chief Executive Officer David Carter said the program is an important step in making south east Queensland stronger in the face of future weather events.
“Building a resilient community is a shared responsibility and we commend the State Government’s proactive efforts in establishing the Resilient Homes Fund and securing joint federal funding,” Mr Carter said.
“Prevention is better than a cure and as the east coast prepares for a third consecutive La Nina this summer, any measure which makes homes more resilient is a great outcome for all Queenslanders.
“We know Queensland will continue to face more frequent and severe weather events, and the Resilient Homes Fund will act as a strong blueprint to make communities more resilient and reduce the physical, financial and emotional impacts of natural disasters.”
The $741 million Resilient Homes Fund – co-funded by the Queensland and Australian governments – provides financial assistance to eligible homeowners to help repair or raise flood-affected homes and minimise the impact of extreme weather.
In the most severe cases, properties are being purchased so homeowners can re-establish their lives in areas less prone to flooding.
Registrations of interest in the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund remain open. For more information: www.qld.gov.au/resilienthomes
Minister Watt: Tali Eley 0499 770 772
Deputy Premier: Amy Hunter 0423 651 484