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Hazards Insurance Partnership targets affordability action

The Hazards Insurance Partnership, announced in the October Budget, has held its first meeting, as the Federal Government steps up mitigation funding and increases its focus on affordability concerns.

“The only way to bring insurance premiums down is to reduce the impact of severe weather events,” Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones said on Twitter. “That’s what is partnership is all about, better data, better infrastructure, better housing development.”

Mr Jones says it’s also vital that cover for natural hazards is made easier to understand for those taking out an insurance policy.

The first meeting in Brisbane on Thursday was attended Mr Jones, Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt, Co-ordinator General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Brendan Moon, and representatives from the Insurance Council of Australia and the major insurance companies.

ICA CEO Andrew Hall says the meeting was a first step in providing a pathway on how the partnership will work, key issues to be addressed and the opportunities.

“Insurers have a critical role to play in identifying the risks from worsening extreme weather, and the data we will be able to provide to government will help drive the investment needed to reduce that risk,” he said.

The Federal Budget delivered on a commitment to provide $200 million over five years for mitigation projects. Applications for the first tranche of funding have now opened with states and territories required to contribute at least 50% toward the cost of the projects submitted.

“Partnering with insurers to share information on disaster risk will allow us to better target mitigation,” Mr Watt said. “This is the next step in our plan to build Australia’s resilience to natural disasters.”