Insurers welcome new resilience and mitigation investment

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government of $600 million for new disaster preparation and mitigation programs as part of the establishment of the new National Recovery and Resilience Agency (NRRA).

The establishment of the NRRA will bring a national focus to building infrastructure, homes and communities that can better withstand the bushfires, storms, floods, and cyclones that are unfortunately a part of Australian life.

This is a significant step forward in redressing the imbalance in public policy to create a stronger and more disaster-resilient community. The Productivity Commission has previously estimated that 97 per cent of all disaster funding in Australia is spent after an event, with just three per cent spent on mitigation measures before an event.

Insurers have for many years now been calling for the expansion of programs to improve household and public resilience, identifying the top priority projects that require funding.

In the past two years, insurers have received 389,000 claims and paid out more than $7.16 billion to Australian policyholders for natural disaster related claims due to destructive bushfires, hail, storms, and floods.

Since 2010 natural disasters have cost insurers $29.67 billion and affected hundreds of thousands of communities, families, and business across the country.

With yesterday’s announcement of a $10 billion reinsurance pool to underwrite cover for cyclone and cyclone-related flood and $40 million to make strata buildings in northern Australia more resilient to extreme weather events, significant moves have been made this week towards a safer and more resilient nation.

Quote attributable to Andrew Hall, CEO, Insurance Council of Australia:

The Insurance Council welcomes this necessary investment to make Australian communities and households – particularly those exposed to extreme weather events, bushfire and natural disasters – more resilient.

Insurers have been calling for some time for this scale of investment, and its pleasing to see the Morrison Government has heard these calls with this action. We look forward to seeing the details of these projects in the Federal Budget next week.

Stronger and more resilient communities, businesses, and households mean less risk, less disruption to lives and faster recovery after a major natural disaster. Insurers stand ready to assist this new agency with all the support and data needed to maximise the Commonwealth Government’s investment.

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