This paper is based on research being conducted with assistance from the Bushfire CRC on the role of insurance in responding to natural hazards. It identify some causes of underinsurance, with particular reference to floods, and consider steps that individuals, insurers and governments may take to both increase the uptake of insurance whilst also increasing community resilience. This paper reviews the lessons from the Queensland floods (December 2010 – February 2011) and identifies that two major issues are the cost and availability of flood cover. It is argued that if insurers assist with mitigation measures, by assisting home owners to understand and prepare for floods, they reduce the cost to insurers, and therefore of insurance, which will ultimately be a benefit for all.
The paper covers: i) flood risk insurance in Australia; ii) lessons learnt from the Queensland flooding (December 2010 – January 2011); iii) reflections from the Queensland floods; iv) how insurers can help: education of flood risk and flood intelligence; v) obligations to be imposed upon the insurance industry; vi) investment in flood mapping and formal planning mechanisms; vii) the State.
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