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Industry 'committed' to natural disaster royal commission recommendation

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The insurance industry is working on a response to a natural disaster royal commission recommendation on consumer guidance for recognised retrofitting and mitigation works that will help with premium reductions.

A spokesman for the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says the peak body is “committed to working with governments and other stakeholders to drive risk reduction and mitigation initiatives that will put downward pressure on premiums”.

“We are currently working to finalise our response to the Government on this important recommendation of the royal commission.”

The ICA comments came after Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said the peak body did not respond to a request from him for more details on how it intends to carry out the recommendation.

The recommendation, one of 80 proposals made by the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, has “in-principle” support from the Morrison Government.

It proposes that the insurance industry, as represented by the ICA, should work with state and territory governments and other relevant stakeholders to produce and communicate to consumers clear guidance on individual-level natural hazard risk mitigation actions that insurers will recognise in setting premiums.

“The Commonwealth Government is committed to building the resilience of Australian communities to natural disasters and putting downward pressure on insurance premiums,” the Government said in its response paper to the royal commission recommendations.

“The Commonwealth urges insurers to provide clear consumer guidance on actions to reduce natural hazard risk that will lower insurance premiums.”

Mr Littleproud says he wrote to ICA “asking how they will improve their consumer guidance on getting a fair premium through recognised risk mitigation actions, but I have had no response from them”.

“We have a responsibility to work together on this and not lose our focus on a better prepared and more resilient Australia,” he said.