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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Insurance chiefs meet politicians over mitigation, affordability

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Insurance company executives met with Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar in Townsville today to discuss mitigation measures and the affordability of insurance in northern Australia.

Queensland MPs Phillip Thompson and George Christensen also attended a community forum prior to the meeting, which is believed to have focussed on where an additional $50 million set aside by the Federal Government for disaster mitigation could be best spent.

As previously reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au, a discussion document drawn up by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) in advance of the meeting outlines a series of projects that could have a dramatic effect on premiums.

The possibility of governments and insurers signing agreements that guarantee premium reductions if certain mitigation measures are carried out is also expected to be discussed today, along with reinsurance pools, which ICA remains opposed to.

Mr Sukkar says on his Twitter account today that he is “meeting with all of the major insurance company senior executives today, to make my expectations clear about their role in improving insurance in northern Australia”.

InsuranceNEWS.com.au had not received any information on the outcome of the meeting at the time of publication.

Writing in The Australian yesterday, Suncorp Insurance CEO and incoming ICA President Gary Dransfield says insurers are best placed to help decide where mitigation funds should be spent.

“Now is the time to bring insurers’ know-how into the critical task of targeting areas most in need of these long overdue funds,” he writes.

Mr Dransfield says that while the allocation is “a great start”, it is well short of the $200 million per year, matched by states and territories, that has been recommended by the Productivity Commission.

He says building resilience is a “no brainer”, as it stimulates the economy at the same time as protecting vulnerable communities. If risk is reduced “insurance premiums will be fundamentally reset and become sustainably more affordable”.