QUEENSLAND'S Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli is calling on insurance companies to reward people who design their homes to better withstand flooding with lower premiums.
Mr Crisafulli said insurance companies should offer discounts if property owners could prove they had restumped their houses more securely or above benchmark flood levels, resisted the urge to build in extra rooms underneath Queensland's stilt homes, and even for décor decisions such as using tiles instead of carpets in downstairs rooms.
"Insurers offer a discount on home and contents insurance for things like security screens, alarms or deadlocks," he said.
"Why not offer discounts to those who choose more resilient building products or raise their house high enough to avoid flooding?"
Mr Crisafulli said it was time insurance companies started looking at ways to help Queenslanders who took into account their location's vulnerability to flood and storm damage, planned ahead to give themselves the best results, and built their houses accordingly.
"We live every day with the knowledge that it's not if but when we're going to be hit again," he said.
"Insurance companies need to take that sort of resilience on board."
Mr Crisafulli said residents should also check local council flood maps to determine the flood risk in their street before speaking to insurers.
"At a time when thousands of Queenslanders are picking up the pieces and insurers face big payouts, this is one way we can start to rein in spiralling costs," he said.
"Cheaper rates for resilient buildings would be a win-win situation.
"The insurance companies could sell more policies, and more people would have peace of mind knowing they're covered for the times when even the best planning can't provide full protection against Mother Nature's wrath."
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