ICA GM Risk & Disaster GM Karl Sullivan told the General Insurance Exchange conference in Sydney last week that while the tool will take three years to build, it will enable the insurance industry to be at the forefront of changes to building standards.
The tool will enable homeowners to input the various parameters of their property and identify key vulnerabilities and key strengths.
It will also generate a resilience score out of five for each property, with a higher score representing better durability, much like an energy efficiency rating.
The unstated bottom line for property owners is likely to be that policy prices will also be influenced by this system, which may flow on to market values if low scoring properties attract a much higher premium and/or excess.Mr Sullivan says that people will be able to use the tool to assess the durability of a house before buying. At the same time “it puts the industry in the driving seat of saying what is durable and what is not and pushes the market in the right direction”.
With Australian insurance companies playing a big role in New Zealand, we can anticipate a similar tool being applied in New Zealand to other natural hazards. Chances are insurance companies operating in Canterbury are already analysing the three Green Zone categories with a view to setting policy prices and/or excesses according to both location and construction rating.
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