Council welcomes inquiry into insurers after 2022 floods

Ipswich City Council has welcomed Federal Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones’ announcement of a parliamentary inquiry into insurers’ response to the 2022 floods.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the inquiry would be followed closely by the council, after hundreds of residents were severely impacted by the February and May floods last year.

“Our city is all too familiar with the challenges of recovering and rebuilding after natural disasters, not least the devastating Halloween hailstorm in Springfield three years ago, and most recently the 2022 floods,” Mayor Harding said.

“For many residents, dealing with their insurance companies after enduring such terrible flooding was a stressful, slow and often dispiriting process.

“In the wake of the 2022 floods, residents told me that their insurance premiums had risen as high $20,000 annually in flood affected areas, making it near impossible for homes to be adequately insured.

“The announcement of a parliamentary inquiry into the ongoing challenges faced by increasingly frequent and intense flood events, and the preparedness of insurers to respond to these events, is very welcome.”

The inquiry will consider the preparedness of insurers to respond to the frequency of these events, as well as supply chain issues, skills, and labour shortages, claims handling and communication with policy holders before, during and after flooding events.

“Last year’s floods across south-east Queensland and NSW were incredibly expensive, with the Insurance Council of Australia estimating they caused $5.87 billion in insured damages,” Mayor Harding said.

“Council is still dealing with the consequences of those floods, from repairing major parks to working closely with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to prevent more residents from experiencing such devastation ever again.

“With climate change a very real and pressing issue, it is critical that Australia’s insurance sector is adequately prepared for future challenges.

“It is also critical that residents affected by future flood events can access affordable, realistic insurance in a timely manner.

“Council will give consideration to preparing a submission to the inquiry when appropriate, conveying the impacts of the 2022 floods on the city as a whole.”

Read also:

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