Today, the Assistant Treasurer joined with Andrew Gee, Member for Calare, to announce a parliamentary inquiry into insurers’ response to the 2022 floods. The announcement follows visits to the flood‑affected towns of Molong, Eugowra, and Cudal.
The inquiry will take a whole‑of‑economy view of the ongoing challenges faced by intense and frequent flood events.
The inquiry will investigate the preparedness of insurers to respond to the frequency of these events. It will also consider supply chain issues, skills, and labour shortages, claims handling, and communication with policy holders before, during and after these devastating events.
Natural disasters continue to have a massive impact on the lives of Australians, especially those in rural and regional communities.
The 2022 floods in South‑East Queensland and NSW are the costliest natural disaster for insurance costs in Australian history. As of June 2023, the ICA estimates the February‑March 2022 floods in South‑East Queensland and NSW have caused $5.87 billion in insured damages.
All almost all Australian states and territories including Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia experienced substantial flood events in 2022.
This is why the Federal Government has formalised its commitment of up to $1 billion over five years from 2023‑24 (up to $200 million per year) to invest in measures that better protect homes and communities from extreme weather through the flagship Disaster Ready Fund.
The Federal Government also announced in last year’s October Budget, a $22.6 million investment towards initiatives aimed at helping reduce the cost of insurance in communities at risk of natural disasters. This includes the establishment of the Hazards Insurance Partnership, a formal arrangement between the Federal Government and insurance industry to engage on issues of disaster risk reduction.