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Insurers Seek Government Partnership to Tackle Insurance Costs

Insurers Seek Government Partnership to Tackle Insurance Costs

In a bid to tackle the skyrocketing costs of insurance, especially in high-risk flood areas, members of the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) are considering various government intervention strategies such as a flood reinsurance pool or direct subsidies.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet aims to address these affordability issues by establishing the Insurance Affordability and Natural Hazard Risk Reduction Taskforce. The ICA is actively engaging with the government to explore potential solutions.

According to ICA CEO Andrew Hall, while long-term measures like infrastructure investment, property buybacks, and updated land use planning are crucial, there’s a pressing need for short-term solutions in collaboration with the government to support those most affected.

A report from the Actuaries Institute last year highlighted that approximately 171,000 households are experiencing severe insurance affordability issues, with riverine flood risks contributing to over half of their premiums.

Hall emphasized that for residents in regions where mitigative measures might not significantly lower risk, immediate assistance is necessary. Consequently, the ICA strategy committee is contemplating partnership models.

"Collaborating with the government to explore these options is one of our key commitments," Hall stated.

The perspectives of ICA members vary considerably, ranging from support for traditional reinsurance pools to opposition to any form of intervention. However, Hall pointed out that there is a common understanding of the crucial principles: clearly identifying the problem, avoiding market distortions, and ensuring that the real risk prices are not obscured.

"There’s no set timeline for the taskforce's findings, but progress is being made," he added.

At this time, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has not provided additional details about the taskforce's operations.

Hall remains optimistic about the proactive discussions between insurers and the government. "Our focus is on finding ways to maintain a stable and competitive insurance market that benefits consumers. We eagerly anticipate advancing these conversations through the taskforce."

This adaptation of the news article is based on original reporting from insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Published:Friday, 24th May 2024
Source: Paige Estritori

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