ICA report on tropical cyclone hazards 

A new report released on 2 December 2021 by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has found that Australia’s houses are not resilient to tropical cyclone hazards, which are expected to become more severe as the climate changes.  

Written on 8 December, 2021
Wendy Martin

A new report released on 2 December 2021 by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has found that Australia’s houses are not resilient to tropical cyclone hazards, which are expected to become more severe as the climate changes.  

Prepared for the ICA by James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station in association with Risk Frontiers, the Tropical Cyclones and Future Risks report outlines the changes required to building codes and construction standards to improve the cyclone resilience of new homes and calls for greater investment in the retrofitting of old homes to protect property and lives.  

The insurance claims cost for tropical cyclones since 1967 stands at $23 billion, and Cyclone Tracey remains Australia’s costliest natural disaster with a $5.5 billion insurance bill (figs normalised to 2017 values).  

The report draws on industry-wide policy and claims data from recent tropical cyclones in North Queensland, with a combined claims cost of $3.83 billion, and incorporates the damage report from Western Australia’s Tropical Cyclone Seroja earlier this year.  

It finds that unless significant changes are made to both the design method and criteria for new houses the impact and losses from these events in Australian communities will only increase from an already high base.  

Be sure to register for the 2021.2 NIBA Convention to hear the latest from Risk Frontiers Managing Director, Ryan Crompton about insurance for weather-related incidents, and from David Henderson, Chief Engineer, Cyclone Testing Station, James Cook University about insurance for weather-related incidents.