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ICA leads way with property resilience talks

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Insurers are inviting industry and government leaders and experts in science and finance to a series of roundtable discussions in an effort to kickstart development of national property resilience policies.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) and the Master Builders Association will host the Building Stronger Homes Roundtable talks, which are aimed at improving construction standards and land-use planning.

The initiative promotes cooperation between builders and insurers, harnessing insurance data to help map actions that can improve the resilience - and insurability - of both existing and future Australian homes.

The groups say the initiative heeds key findings from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

“The royal commission has identified clear priorities that can reduce the risks to homes,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall says. “Whatever efforts we can take to reduce vulnerability and reduce the risk of loss must be a priority for industry and Australian governments.”

The royal commission’s final report - delivered after almost $6 billion in insured losses were clocked up in Australia’s November-April hazard season - recognised the importance of mitigation and resilience in protecting properties and communities from natural disasters.

It recommends a national body be established to focus on reducing long-term disaster risk and harmonising approaches. The report also advised mandatory consideration of natural disaster risk in land-use planning decisions and stronger building standards.

The first roundtable session will be held in Canberra on November 26. Senior industry and government leaders will attend and experts in science, banking and finance, behavioural and market economics will also be invited to participate.

“The building and insurance sectors are committed to exploring practical and effective ways to deliver better building quality outcomes that enable industry to deliver more resilient buildings,” Master Builders Association CEO Denita Wawn said.