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Canberra provides detail on affordability taskforce

The Albanese government says its Insurance Affordability and Natural Hazards Risk Reduction Taskforce will ensure a “cross-government approach” to risk reduction and “other near-term solutions”.

A statement says the Commonwealth is committed to working with insurers and local communities to improve insurance affordability.

“We know household budgets are under pressure and insurance costs are contributing. Natural hazard risk is a key factor impacting insurance affordability, and contributing to cost-of-living pressures, for communities across Australia,” it says.

The taskforce will work on issues including:

  • Community-level risk reduction
  • Hazard risk reduction
  • Economic impacts of underinsurance
  • Standardising natural hazard definitions
  • Other near-term solutions to improve affordability

As has reported, Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall has said that, while mitigation is the long-term solution, a “partnership arrangement” with government is needed in the short term to tackle stubborn affordability issues in high-risk areas. He says ICA members are discussing flood pools, subsidies and other schemes.

But Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones declined to confirm the taskforce will consider a flood pool or subsidies.

“There are no government decisions on any of that sort of stuff,” he told “I’m not going to be drawn on it. We’ve just delivered the budget, we’re not going to be rewriting it within three weeks.

“We’ve set up a taskforce. I’m not going to prejudge an outcome before the taskforce has got busy on its job. Let the taskforce do its work and then we’ll consider the recommendations.”

The taskforce will be led by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and its work will be “informed and complemented” by the Hazards Insurance Partnership, which has been operating since February last year.