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Insurers ramp up call for better solutions to fix flood prone areas

Business

Insurer IAG has backed calls from Suncorp for governments to mitigate the impact of natural disasters after it received 24,000 claims from the east coast flooding.

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The company has lifted the level of its natural disaster claims for the year to $1.1 billion and although it as extensive reinsurance it still expected a cost of $74 million from the storm and flooding that has hit Queensland and NSW.

Of the 24,000 claims it had received, 3500 came from the unfolding flooding disaster in areas of Sydney. It said it was still too early to determine the final number of claims, but it did expect them to rise.

Chief executive Nick Hawkins also echoed words from Suncorp which has been similarly impacted by the floods.

“As well as supporting people through the immediate recovery period, we need to ensure we rebuild communities and infrastructure stronger so we can help prevent this level of destruction happening again,” Hawkins said

“We urge governments to work with insurers and communities to identify and invest in mitigation and take action to improve land planning and building codes and other resilience measures. This needs to be a priority.”

Suncorp has been making similar calls for several years after being hit with a mountain of claims from a string of big storms and floods in recent years and its chief executive Steve Johnston said there were homes that were being restored for the third or fourth time because they had been built in flood zones.

Deputy Premier and Planning Minister Steven Miles said he had met insurance companies las week to discuss the issue.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the government would look at a range of resilience options to ensure damage as minimised in subsequent floods, including levees and storm water works.

“This disaster as quite different. Whereas in 2011 we could look at where the river ran and overflowed we need to look at each suburb,” he said.

 

 

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