Insurers stand up to political pressure


General insurers emerged relatively unscathed following two days of parliamentary hearings designed to scrutinise the industry.


MPs on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics fired questions at insurers and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) on Hayne royal commission progress, natural disasters and COVID-19.

Concerns were raised about lack of climate change action, consumer disclosure, landlord insurers’ response to the pandemic, and fire exclusions.


But insurers were able to effectively explain their position to politicians, many of whom seemed to lack detailed understanding of the industry.


ICA CEO Rob Whelan told the committee last summer’s catastrophes resulted in $4.6 billion of insured losses, with more claims still coming in.


“This was the worst natural disaster season on record, and insurers are fulfilling their promise,” he said.

“The Insurance Council’s members are rising to the challenges of natural disasters and the initial impact of COVID-19.


“They are helping customers affected by the pandemic through a wide range of assistance packages, including discounts, rebates and refunds. They are being flexible and adaptive.”


On the Hayne royal commission Mr Whelan says insurers “have listened to the concerns of customers, governments and consumer groups” and are responding.


“We support the aims of commissioner Hayne’s recommendations, and I note that he did not find systemic issues with the general insurance industry,” Mr Whelan said.


Source: Insurance: Insurance News

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