Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe visited Bundaberg last week to formally announce a $42.5 million commitment for the Bundaberg East flood levee with Labor candidate Tom Smith and Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey. Photo: Geordi Offord
Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe visited Bundaberg last week to formally announce a $42.5 million commitment for the Bundaberg East flood levee with Labor candidate Tom Smith and Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey. Photo: Geordi Offord

EXPLAINED: How Bundy levee could affect insurance premiums

THE Insurance Council of Australia has said the $42.5 million investment for the Bundaberg East flood levee was "positive news" for the community.

The ICA said the cost of insurance premiums was likely to reduce upon the levee's completion.

ICA CEO Andrew Hall said the levee was long overdue.

"Bundaberg is notorious for its floods. The 2013 floods caused more than $1.1 billion in insured property losses (in today's dollars). Industry data shows more than 10,300 building policies have flood exposure," he said.

"The announcement is recognition... that investments in permanent mitigation are vital to ensure the long-term economic and social viability of communities.

"It supports the Insurance Council's long-held position that governments should focus on measures that will provide long-lasting change by addressing the underlying cause of insurance affordability issues.

"The good news is that insurers will reassess the risk and lower their premiums for property owners protected by the completed levy, with premium reductions of 10 to 27 per cent likely. The levee plan is testament to the hard work of the Bundaberg Regional Council.

"However, Bundaberg is just one of dozens of Queensland towns and cities where well-designed flood mitigation would reduce flood risk for generations. The insurance industry believes mitigation should be treated as nation-building infrastructure and must take the impact of climate change into account.

"Insurers are committed to working closely with the Commonwealth, state and local governments and have identified areas of high exposure where mitigation projects should be considered as a priority.

"The ICA also urges the State Government and Opposition to commit to the abolition of unfair and inequitable state taxes on insurance. Queenslanders pay a combined 19.9 per cent in taxes on their insurance (GST plus state stamp duty). This burden is a key cause of non-insurance and underinsurance, especially in high-risk regions."



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