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ICA stands by outspoken resilience stance on election eve

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As Australians head to the polls tomorrow, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has made a final plea to politicians to invest in disaster resilience measures, saying that the industry body “needs to be part of the conversation”.

ICA has in the run-up to this federal election released a 12-point manifesto, and also spoken out strongly when a Queensland flood resilience scheme looked to have been killed off by a government funding row.

Asked by insuranceNEWS.com.au what is the one thing the next federal government should focus on first, ICA CEO Andrew Hall said resilience is “critical”.

“ICA has long been calling on all Australian governments to invest in stronger homes and infrastructure that makes communities more resilient in the face of worsening extreme weather,” he said

“We regard this as a critical issue for our industry, our communities and our country.

“We welcome the renewed focus by governments and oppositions across the country to investing in resilience. Reducing risk is fundamental to maintaining a healthy insurance pool to protect homes and businesses.”

Mr Hall also flagged the issue of underinsurance, which he says “remains an endemic problem in this country, exacerbated by stamp duties and taxes on premiums”.

Asked why ICA had decided to be so vocal in the run-up to the election, Mr Hall said: “If we are to be the voice of a resilient Australia, we need to be a part of the conversation.

“We know climate chance is worsening extreme weather events, which has impacts on the affordability of insurance in Australia.

“For insurance to remain available and affordable action is required to strengthen the resilience of our homes, businesses, and communities, we need a shift in our approach to what we build and where we build it, and regulation needs to support a vibrant and diverse insurance sector, not stifle it.

“We are committed to working collaboratively with the next Australian government to strengthen the confidence and integrity of the industry for the sake of a stronger economy and to meet the challenges of climate change.”