Government and Insurance council make pact
NATURAL Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps today announced as part of Get Ready week that the Queensland Government and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to address common insurance issues.
"The Get Ready Queensland campaign is about building our resilience to deal with weather events that are part of living in our state," Mr Cripps said.
"Queensland has been challenged in recent years by a full range of natural disasters, including flooding, storms and cyclones, with greater frequency and intensity than neighbouring States.
"Insurance premiums have risen significantly in Queensland and have been fuelled by uncertainty about hazard areas and the ability of insured premises to withstand severe weather events."
Mr Cripps said he had been working hard to put downward pressure on premiums for Queensland families and businesses.
"Unfortunately, as a north Queensland MP, I am all too familiar with severe weather events," he said.
"In recent years we have been hit hard by Cyclones Larry and Yasi, along with several flood events, which have had a huge impact on communities.
"Insurance premiums hit hard on the back pocket of Queenslanders, particularly in the north, and I am pleased to see this MOU signed.
"Under our agreement with the ICA, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) will give insurance companies free access to all existing and future Queensland Government flood mapping and elevation data.
"This will ensure premiums are calculated on the most up-to-date, accurate spatial data available."
ICA CEO Rob Whelan welcomed the Newman Government's move to remove uncertainty by being open and transparent with insurance companies.
"Sharing this important data will help the insurance industry deliver the most accurate and affordable premiums for policyholders and is positive for communities too," Mr Whelan said.
"DNRM has given the insurance industry access to official flood data and mapping for the first time, as well as access to the Queensland Globe, which lets insurers analyse flood lines from the 2011 and 2013 flood events.
"Insurers will be able to use the latest data when calculating premiums for households and businesses in flood-prone regions.
"This is likely to reduce the upward pressure on premiums for many households.
"The ICA will also work together with DNRM to identify where there is a need for improved hazard mapping and where there needs to be further investment of resources to assess the likely impact hazards would have on properties."
Mr Cripps said the MOU showed the Newman Government's continued commitment to making government information readily available to the wider-community.
"It is our aim to make Queensland Australia's most disaster resilient state," he said.
"I will continue to put pressure on insurance companies to use this data and to deliver reduced premiums for Queenslanders."
More information about Get Ready Queensland is available at: www.disaster.qld.gov.au/getready.