bushfire risk management, backburning

Climate change is no excuse for government inaction on risk mitigation

Fires, floods, hailstorms, drought….Climate change and increasing weather volatility has surged into third place in an annual Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS) survey of business risks facing the Australian insurance industry. The climate concerns in the 2020 Allianz Risk Barometer rose from number 8 last year. Claims from bushfires since September have topped $1.4 billion, the Insurance Council of Australia says, while AccuWeather estimates the total damage and economic losses will be $159 billion.

Allsure’s Melissa Donaldson shares her views on climate change risk: “See I take issue with the ‘climate change mantra’ in some cases, because it seems to provide a handy excuse for the politicians to hide behind instead of introducing rigourous risk mitigation efforts for things like bushfire risk. If our government was doing what it should in back burning, letting cattle into the high country, and not being dictated to by whoever shouts the loudest, we wouldn’t have the fuel load in our bush. Our bush accumulated debris, it doesn’t rot down. A lot of our trees actually require fire to germinate. It’s easier for the government to say it’s climate change than to admit they didn’t have the right policies and preventions in place.

“We know there is increasing risk of drought, yet there is no government livestock insurance scheme or anything set up to help our farmers increase their resilience to the ‘new normal’. Multiperil crop insurance is another key area that needs attention and support. We can’t just rely on insurance to protect our crop farmers as it will drive the price up and reduce insurers’ appetites to underwrite the risk. Insurance should be the safety net, just one element in a whole risk management programme. It’s an area that’s ripe for innovation.”

Take action on your risk management and insurance solution

Climate change might be the battlecry, but it shouldn’t be a ‘smokescreen’ to cover up a lack of action. There’s plenty of things individuals and businesses can do to protect themselves, both using tried and tested measures and investigating new techniques. Want to talk about your specific situation? Contact us, we’re happy to provide an end to end review of your risks and insurance solution.