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Some properties ‘uninsurable’: Price hikes ahead as Queensland takes the heat

It includes the potential impacts of bushfires, coastal erosion and coastal inundation.

“We have seen those impacts on the Gold Coast in recent years,” Mr Colacino said.

The Peregian Springs bushfire on the Sunshine Coast in September 2019, where several homes were destroyed.

The Peregian Springs bushfire on the Sunshine Coast in September 2019, where several homes were destroyed.Credit:Ian Martin

“I’m thinking of Burleigh and the significant impacts there all the way down to Coolangatta,” he said.

“Obviously there is the significant costs of sand dredging to replenish those beaches there.

“We have seen these impacts as part of the natural character of these regions.

“The impact of changing climate means increased severity of extreme weather events, storms and winds will mean those risks grow.

The Brisbane suburb of Rosalie during the 2011 flood.

The Brisbane suburb of Rosalie during the 2011 flood.Credit:Glenn Hunt.

“The result of that will be increased insurance costs.

“In extreme cases, some properties could become uninsurable.”

Mr Colacino said the table measured more than the rare risks of coastal homes collapsing into the ocean because of beach erosion.

“Examples could be riverine flooding – so people living in canals on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, for example, which is very common – could have water from the canals coming into their properties.

“It could be issues with subsidence arising from soils being sodden. It could just be the impacts of high winds pulling parts of buildings free, creating debris.”

Earlier this year the federal government promised a $10 billion fund to reduce insurance premiums in north Queensland after a lengthy review into the impacts of repeated cyclones.

At this point only $2.6 million for the reinsurance scheme has been set aside in the federal budget.

In July 2021 the Queensland government opened a scheme where north Queensland councils could apply for money from a $10 million fund to cover rising insurance costs.

The Insurance Council of Australia found that in Townsville and Cairns, reducing flood risk through permanent mitigation measures could reduce insurance premiums by up to 21 per cent.

In 2020 the insurance council sponsored a two-year study into the impacts of high winds on coastal Queensland, with six local governments and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

It will report to government in 2022.

The insurance council of Australia has proposed new housing designs to reduce the impacts of changing climate.

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