Delay for rebuild of flood homes

SOME Ipswich homes hit hard by January's flooding disaster will not be completely rebuilt until next year, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.

The industry body said almost 130,000 claims were received by insurance companies after the state's floods and cyclone earlier this year.

While more than 99% of claims have had a decision made on them, an Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) spokesman said about 60% of these had also had all rebuilding work finished.

ICA risk and disaster general manager Karl Sullivan said the remaining homes could be unfinished due to the length of time some rebuilding projects could take.

“Sixty per cent of claims have been closed.

“The remaining claims are still underway. The bulk of it is physical repair work,” Mr Sullivan said.

“The client might rebuild in a different way, to take into account future flood or cyclone risks, or might do extra renovations at the same time.

“Rebuilding can take a considerable amount of time.”

He said reaching the point where every flood covered home was completely repaired wouldn't happen until next year, but about 90% of homes would be completed by the end this year.

“Every month there will be more done,” Mr Sullivan said.

The update came after the ICA this week released updated data for the insurance industry's response to Cyclone Yasi and the Queensland floods.

CEO Rob Whelan said that as of August 26, ICA member companies had paid $1.86 billion to insured customers undertaking rebuilding and repairs.

Mr Whelan said about $13 million was paid to Queensland residents each working day in the past month, either in cash payments or in construction and repair services.

He said the industry was working quickly and efficiently in responding to and assessing claims.

“The Australian insurance industry has shown its strength and importance over the last few months,” Mr Whelan said.

“The scale of the industry's response and its ability to appropriately determine claims has helped many Queenslanders get back on their feet.”

ICA member companies have now reserved an estimated $3.72 billion for 128,875 claims, with 71,145 claims due to Cyclone Yasi and 57,730 due to the floods.

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