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ICA says mitigation message is getting through to politicians

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says there has been a “discernible shift” in politicians' attitudes towards investing in natural disaster mitigation measures.

ICA CEO Andrew Hall says he spent time in Canberra last week “enjoying face-to-face time with our political and Government stakeholders”.

“The main topic for discussion was the reinsurance pool for cyclone risk in northern Australia, following the release of the legislation last week,” he writes in an ICA newsletter.

“And while this legislation is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to the affordability and availability of insurance in the region, there was a discernible shift in interest and understanding of how investment in resilience and mitigation can lessen the impact of cyclone and flood.

“This shift reflects the real value in this investment, not only from an economic perspective, but also from a community perspective.”

ICA and other industry groups, while welcoming the pool, have been keen to stress that it won’t work on its own.

“Reducing the cost of reinsurance is only one part of improving the affordability and availability of insurance for those living with the threat of cyclones in northern Australia,” ICA said previously.

“Making sustainable inroads on premium prices over the long term will only occur with significant investment in measures that make communities more resilient to extreme weather risk, including cyclone and related flood.

“The Productivity Commission has recommended Commonwealth investment in this area should be $200 million a year, which is around double what is currently allocated, matched by the states and territories.”