NIBA submission to the NSW Senate Bushfire Inquiry

NIBA has provided a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Lessons Learned from the 2019-20 Bushfire Season calling for a more holistic approach to disaster mitigation and the abolition of insurance-based taxes.

Written on 27 May, 2020
Allyssa Hextell

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has provided a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Lessons Learned from the 2019-20 Bushfire Season once again calling for a more holistic approach to disaster mitigation and the abolition of insurance-based taxes.

NIBA’s submission to the senate inquiry follows on from last months submission to the Royal Commission into Natural Disasters. In the submission NIBA highlights the inequalities that exist between state fire services funding models. New South Wales and Tasmania are the only states that still fund fire and emergency services through an insurance-based levy.

The Association submitted that addition of state-based taxes and levies increased premiums and contributed to higher rates of under-insurance and non-insurance.  Recent figures released by the government indicate that 27 per cent of homes lost in the recent bushfires were not insured.

NIBA’s calls for a fairer more equitable emergency services funding model come at a time when many Australians are feeling financial pressure as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the black summer bushfires.

The submission also highlights the need for greater investment in public and private mitigation works, calling out that the current funding model provides little incentive for state and territory governments to invest in disaster mitigation as the Federal government shoulders most of the burden for disaster recovery.

NIBA recommended that in addition to greater investment in public mitigation, funds should also be allocated to increasing the resilience of older properties in bushfire prone areas. NIBA cited the Queensland Governments’ Household Resilience Program and Roma’s Flood Mitigation Project as examples of successful mitigation projects that governments could look to.

You can access the submission in its entirety on the NIBA website.