Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Katrina & Katrina

Tropical cyclone Katrina formed on the 3rd , then wandered around the Coral sea for about 3 weeks having only a minimum impact on the Queensland coast. The maximum intensity of category 4 was reached on the 15th for approximately 18 hours whilst it was located about 300 nautical miles northeast of the north tropical coast. It finally weakened to below Tropical Cyclone intensity on the 25th.

from: the Bureau of Meteorology’s Significant Weather, January 1988 report
The Gulf of Mexico’s Hurricane Katrina, however, has had a much more significant effect on this area, not in damage, but in a sudden & significant jump in home insurance premiums. We have a small holiday house south of Townsville, in an area that is considered to be highly susceptible to tropical cyclone crossings because the Queensland coast in this area swings towards the NW to run in a direction more parallel to the SE trade winds. We’ve just received our annual bill for insuring the house, & the premium has tripled since last year.

Comparing it against our main house, we are paying six times the premium for a house that is valued at less than half of the one we live in. But Rockhampton is considered to be at the bottom edge of the tropical cyclone zone, so I'm wondering how long it will be before our premiums here take a sudden hike.

The insurance company’s excuse.
“Our research with the Cyclone Testing Station indicates your previous premium did not sufficiently reflect the cyclone risk for your area. We felt it was important to adjust the premiums fully to reflect the risk so all customers are paying the appropriate premium for their situation.”

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