18 January 2011

ICA Supports Qld Commission of Inquiry

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today welcomed the Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland floods as an opportunity to increase community understanding of the need to be more resilient to extreme weather events.

ICA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rob Whelan, said: “The general insurance industry will be an active and constructive participant in the Commission of Inquiry.”

The general insurance industry continues to work with its affected policyholders on the recovery process. The industry has received approximately 12,000 claims with an estimated insurable value of over $410 million.

As this devastating flood has shown there are many high risk areas in Queensland and other areas of Australia, with numerous communities built on flood plains.

“It is crucial there is a genuine national discussion on how to increase our resilience to major natural perils,” Mr Whelan said.

The insurance industry has over the last decade made many representations to all levels of government on how to improve our ability to plan for, manage and recover from severe weather events.

The ICA released practical policy initiatives over four years ago to enhance Australia’s community resilience to severe weather events.

The ICA believes proper flood mapping would allow the risk of flood to be fully understood and underwritten, enabling the development of a wider range of insurance products to supplement those already available.

The ICA now has a database with some 4.2 million properties that are prone to flooding on its National Flood Information Database (NFID). This work along with other similar initiatives on building codes, weather resistant building materials and various flood mitigation activities will create a better understanding of how communities can become more resilient.

“The insurance industry remains committed to assisting customers affected by floods fairly and compassionately,” Mr Whelan said.

“All ICA members will treat their customers in accordance with the general insurance industry’s Code of Practice which provides consumer guidelines and details on how insurance companies deal with claims.”

The Code can be found at www.codeofpractice.com.au


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