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Suncorp calls on Canberra to fund cyclone retrofit

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Suncorp has urged the Federal Government not to “hide the problem behind an insurance pool” when tackling the cyclone threat in north Queensland.

The insurer’s Personal Insurance CEO Mark Milliner has called on the Government to instead support a housing retrofit program to protect properties and bring down premiums and claims costs.

“We’ve said that if people can provide evidence of retrofitting, then we will reduce the premium,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

A new report for Suncorp drawing on analysis by James Cook University’s Cyclone Testing Station and consultancy Urbis has established the costs and benefits of a retrofit program.

The report was made public on Friday, and Suncorp has asked the Federal Government for retrofit funding.

Mr Milliner says the insurer is holding “continuing talks” with other governments.

“I think we need to light up governments at all levels,” Mr Milliner said.

In April the Federal Government announced a $2 million taskforce to create either a government-run reinsurance pool or a community-owned mutual insurer to provide cyclone cover across the north.

But Mr Milliner says this is “bad policy in a market that we would argue is working extremely well”.

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