The Government of Australia has announced the launch of the Insurance Affordability and Natural Hazards Risk Reduction Taskforce to forge an integrated, cross-government strategy to mitigate disaster impacts on local communities.  

The taskforce also aims to address rising insurance costs exacerbated by increasingly intense and frequent weather events. 

The establishment of the taskforce comes as a response to mounting pressures on household budgets, with insurance expenses contributing significantly.  

Recognising natural hazard risk as a pivotal factor affecting insurance affordability, the taskforce will collaborate with various government agencies involved in risk reduction to deliver a comprehensive, whole-of-government response to a broad range of related issues. 

The issues in focus include risk reduction at the community level, the economic consequences of underinsurance and standardising definitions of natural hazards.  

In addition, the taskforce seeks to explore near-term solutions to enhance insurance affordability.  

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It will be spearheaded by the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 

This will ensure a coordinated, whole-of-economy perspective on the challenges and potential remedies concerning insurance affordability as well as natural hazard risk. 

According to the Australian Treasury, the decision to launch this taskforce builds upon the ongoing efforts of the Hazards Insurance Partnership, introduced by the Australian Government in the October 2022, as part of the federal budget for fiscal 2022–23.  

The Hazards Insurance Partnership, managed by the National Emergency Management Agency, targets the issue of soaring insurance premiums and aims to bolster community preparedness for disasters. 

The government has allocated A$24.3m ($16.1m) over a span of five years to back initiatives designed to improve insurance affordability and availability.  

These initiatives encompass the Hazards Insurance Partnership, research into natural hazards, studies supporting national mitigation strategies against rising premiums and fostering innovation within the insurance sector.