Inquiry into flood kicks off with survey

The response of the insurance industry to major flood events across Australia in 2022 will be the focus of a new inquiry by the House Standing Committee on Economics, beginning with an online survey.

The inquiry will take a whole-of-economy view of the ongoing challenges caused by intense and frequent flood events.

In particular, the inquiry will look at insurers’ responses to the 2022 flood events across the country including the October floods in Victoria.

The inquiry will focus on a range of issues, including, time frames for resolving claims, obstacles to resolving claims, communication with people lodging claims.

The effectiveness of internal dispute resolution processes, the accessibility and affordability of hydrology reports and assessments, the affordability of insurance cover, and the preparedness of insurance companies for future major floods.

Committee chair Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino said the aftermath of intense natural disasters continues to have a huge impact on the lives of Australians, in rural and regional communities and in metropolitan areas.

“People in my electorate of Fraser were devastated when the Maribyrnong River flooded in October,” he said.

“I spent the following days door knocking, making sure residents were safe and that they had been able to claim disaster payments from Services Australia.

“I will never forget the despair of the families and local business owners who lost everything.”

Mr Mulino said his staff are still advocating for affected residents who have outstanding claims with their insurance companies.

“Meanwhile, they are also trying to rebuild their lives, which is difficult when claims haven’t been settled.”

The online survey has been launched to hear from people who were affected by the major floods.

“It is really important that people participate in the survey,” he said.

“Committee members need to have a good understanding of people’s experiences with their insurance companies.

“Their evidence will inform our discussions throughout the inquiry and help guide our recommendations.”

The survey cut off date is October 31.