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Suncorp cops a $400m hit from storms as it cuts rates for fixed loans

Business

Storm and natural hazard events have cost Suncorp up to $408 million this financial year, almost half of the $950 million it set aside for natural hazards.

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And the Queensland storm season is only just starting.

Suncorp said the recent Queensland and NSW hail events on October 20, would cost as much as $220 million. Other costly events included the $50 million for eastern state storms on October 20, the New Zealand bushfire would cost $5 million and the rain and wind event in Melbourne in August would $15 million.

Suncorp said that as of November 6 it had received about 6400 claims for the Queensland NSW hail storm. About 3300 claims were for motor claims, 2800 were home claims and 300 were commercial claims. The numbers were expected to increase.

Suncorp has been pushing for greater preparedness for natural events, including bushfires and recently said only 3 cents in every dollar spent in disaster funding went to preparing and mitigation.

“Including the Queensland-NSW hail event, Suncorp estimates total natural hazard costs across Australia and New Zealand for the four-month period to October 31 will be $348 million to $408 million,” the company said.

“Suncorp has a comprehensive reinsurance program in place for 2021 financial year. The program is strengthened by an aggregate excess loss protection which provides $400 million of cover in excess of a retention of $650 million.

“The maximum retention for a single event in Australia is $250 million under Suncorp’s catastrophe program.”

Suncorp has also announced cuts to its fixed-rate loans but has followed the lead of the big four banks and given nothing to borrowers on variable rate mortgages.

The bank now has a 1.89 per cent rate for its two-year, fixed rate loan that will be available from November 19.

The cut follows a move by the Reserve Bank to slash official interest rates to 0.1 per cent.

Suncorp said eligible customers refinancing their loans to Suncorp could receive cash backs of $2000 for loans between $250,000 and $749,999, and $3000 for refinanced loans greater than $750,000.

Teachers and frontline health workers are entitled to an additional $1000 cashback. The program was started by the company earlier this year to support people affected by COVID-19.

For small business customers, Suncorp will reduce advertised fixed rates by up to 0.70 per cent starting from 2.69 per cent.

 

 

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