Insurer Requests Funding for Disaster Relief | The standard

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Insurers are calling for urgent disaster mitigation funding as the industry faces a nearly $750 million bill from floods in New South Wales and Queensland. It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology warns of further flood risk in the Northern Rivers and Hunter regions of NSW, while flood warnings have been issued for parts of southern Queensland. Sydney is eyeing another week of rain after heavy storms battered parts of the city at the weekend. NRMA Insurance says the country has just gone through an unprecedented summer of extreme weather, including flooding in South Australia and high heat leading to bushfires in Western Australia. There was a 53% increase in home insurance claims over last year, the highest proportion in the ACT, Queensland and New South Wales. Group leader Julie Batch said the benefits of investing in mitigation were clear. “Now is the time to get the necessary funding into communities and allow mitigation projects to kick off,” Ms Batch said. The Insurance Council of Australia says there have been around 98,000 insurance claims in flood-affected areas of NSW and Queensland, with 60,000 outstanding and a bill of $742 million. The NRMA appeal comes after the Morrison government was criticized for underspending on its disaster mitigation fund set up in the wake of the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires. The $4 billion fund has racked up more than $800 million in interest since its launch, but had only spent $50 million before the devastating and deadly floods in February. Australian Associated Press

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