NIBA goes into bat for north

The Federal Government’s focus on insurance affordability in Australia’s north has intensified, with the launch of the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce.

First flagged in March, the taskforce has been tasked with exploring options for reducing home, contents and strata insurance premiums in Australia’s catastrophe-prone northern reaches.

It’s an issue the Federal Government has already made a few attempts at ameliorating, firstly by encouraging greater use of UFIs and by launching a North Queensland comparison website.

The taskforce is headed by former Australian Treasury Executive Director Mike Callaghan, who will be supported by a reference panel featuring NIBA CEO Dallas Booth, as well as Insurance Council of Australia CEO Rob Whelan.

Booth says he is honoured to be have been asked to help address the issues around insurance affordability in Northern Australia.

“I will also consult with NIBA members throughout the process to make sure their views are heard and can be part of the discussions and solutions,” he says.

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has asked the taskforce to examine the pros and cons of options such as establishing a mutual cyclone insurer, a cyclone reinsurance pool and others.

Frydenberg has previously advocated the abolition of insurance taxes in North Queensland.

The taskforce is expected to lodge a final report by November.