A partnership between the Federal Government and the insurance sector must result in better access to insurance for people in disaster prone areas according to Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Perin Davey.
Following an inaugural meeting for the establishment of the Hazards Insurance Partnership, Senator Davey said the success will be measured on whether it puts real downward pressure on insurance premiums.
Senator Davey welcomed the Government’s focus on helping communities better prepare for disasters but said access to affordable insurance must also be a priority.
“We have seen insurance premiums in disaster prone areas like north Queensland rise beyond the capacity for most people to pay,” she said.
“Then we have instances following the most recent floods where some families have been told their policies won’t be renewed.
“Affordable insurance is not only beneficial for the insured, but also saves Government money in the long term.
“The insurance industry has long said more work needs to be done in disaster areas to get an accurate assessment of the level of risks and assess the reduction of risk that may be provided by mitigation works.
“For example, if a levee was built around a residential development to provide flood mitigation, how much would that lower the risk and can that then lead to a reduction in insurance premiums?
“That is the sort of work that needs to be done with the insurance industry at the table, so I welcome the partnership coming together.
“With the funding focus now on mitigation activities, we need to make sure that work is recognised in the insurance people can access,” Senator Davey said.