News eDaily23 May 2017

Australia:Cyclone-hit zone faces premium hikes or rejection

23 May 2017

High rebuilding costs in the wake of the destruction wreaked by Cyclone Debbie has led to warnings of steep property premium hikes.

Analysts expect home and motor policies to spike by 5%, and commercial insurance premiums by 15-20% in areas affected by Cyclone Debbie.

In addition, one insurer has refused to insure properties in the cyclone-hit northeastern coast of Australia, reported the Courier Mail.

Tradesmen are charging up to a 400% mark-up on rebuilding costs after the cyclone which hit a 1,300-km stretch of coast mainly in Queensland in late March.

Building companies and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said the higher costs were due to “supply and demand”, with limited labour and materials in hard-hit areas and the logistics of flying in tradesmen from down south.

The latest ICA figures show that the total estimated value of insured losses has reached A$897 million (US$669 million) from 56,135 claims, including residential, commercial, contents, car and marine, with about 670 houses statewide condemned as “uninhabitable”.

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the state Budget was expected to take a A$1.5 billion hit from Cyclone Debbie, with the total repair bill predicted to be A$2 billion.


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