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CGU cuts premiums after north Queensland strata checks

CGU has cut premiums to more than 7000 unit-owners in north Queensland after conducting assessments on strata buildings in the region.

Acting CEO Ben Bessell says policyholders have saved more than $1.3 million.

About 75% of the buildings assessed have received premium relief, with the average saving above $150 a year and more than half of policyholders receiving a cut of 10% or more.

Mr Bessell says CGU subsidiary Strata Unit Underwriters (SUU) expects to have offered the service to all CGU and SUU residential strata customers in north Queensland by June.

It has assessed 335 of more than 500 properties it insures with none experiencing an increase in premium following the inspections.

Specialist building consultant Sergon is undertaking the work, and CGU is funding it.

SUU National Manager Ryan Houston says owners have welcomed advice on resilience, knowing there could be a premium reduction.

“More often than not they are very keen to implement the recommendations,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “They tend to work very proactively with us.”

The project has helped improve cyclone preparedness, with 25% of properties given specific recommendations – the most common being waterproofing around doors and windows, fixing inadequate drainage from guttering and general landscape maintenance.

Mr Houston says newer properties generally receive a better risk rating than older ones, which is to be expected given updated building codes and improvements in design, engineering and building materials.

The highest proportion of properties rated below average were built from 1985-92, with pre-1985 buildings likely to hold up better in a cyclone.

By size, buildings of fewer than three storeys had the highest below-average rate.

Some newer properties in Yeppoon and Rockhampton performed below expectations during the recent Cyclone Marcia.

About a quarter of properties do not have a cyclone management plan, and Mr Houston says these are typically smaller complexes without a professional manager.

The project has given SUU the opportunity to remind owners about having formal disaster management plans.

CGU is sharing the findings with the Queensland and federal governments.

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