Suncorp supports Government efforts to improve insurance affordability
Leading insurer Suncorp today pledged to work with the Federal Government to improve insurance affordability in Northern Australia.
This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement today in Cairns that the Government would commit to a $10 billion government guarantee to the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation to cover reinsurance for cyclone and related flooding for residential, strata and small business.
Group CEO Steve Johnston said Suncorp, the largest insurer in the north Queensland region, had already been engaged in constructive discussions with the Government and would fully support the work of the taskforce charged with designing the new scheme.
“Having stood by communities in the North for over 100 years, we understand the issues and believe it is time for all levels of Government and the insurance industry to work constructively to design and deliver affordability relief for those living in Northern Australia.
“Last month I was in Cairns and Townsville and heard first-hand how critical it is that companies like Suncorp, all levels of government and communities work together to find solutions to improve the affordability and accessibility of insurance.”
Mr Johnston said the scheme needed to be accompanied by a nation building commitment to improve the resilience of both public and private infrastructure and the removal of taxes and charges on insurance products.
“We have long advocated for a four-point action plan to ease affordability pressures in high-risk regions of Australia. This includes investments in public and private resilience infrastructure, improved planning laws and tax reform.”
“Importantly, we must invest in making our homes and communities stronger and safer to reduce the destruction and heartache caused by natural disasters.
“Disaster mitigation, rather than disaster clean-up, is where Australia should focus. It is a sad fact that 97 cents of every dollar of disaster funding goes to recovery and rebuild. The remaining three cents spent on preparation and mitigation is but a small drop in a rapidly filling bucket.” Mr Johnston said.
Suncorp modelling shows that in some states up to 40 per cent of an insurance premium can represent Federal and State taxes and charges exacerbating affordability issues and forcing elevated levels of under and noninsurance.