The Insurance Council of Australia has urged the federal government to put in place arrangements ahead of summer, allowing the insurance sector to respond to natural disasters because current border restrictions will hinder the movement of insurance professionals where needed.
The organisation has called on National Cabinet to facilitate processes that would allow claims assessors, builders and tradespeople, and disaster recovery specialists to move safely between states.
Agreements that were reached last year have since been removed as the Delta variant saw border restrictions re-imposed across the country.
ICA CEO Andrew Hall says, “The worst-case scenario would be for an event to happen and then we spend weeks and weeks trying to work out whether people can travel in to help those communities,” he told ABC Radio Canberra.
The National Insurance Brokers Association strongly supports the move, with brokers saying they have also been impacted by the restrictions, being unable to support clients on the ground where needed.
“Insurance brokers are essential in helping their clients navigate preparations for, and recovery from, natural disasters and major weather events,” CEO Dallas Booth said.
“They are on the front line and have seen first-hand the challenges presented by state border restrictions, as they help their clients navigate the recovery from natural disasters.”
The national emergency management organisation, Emergency Management Australia (EMA) began national preparedness briefings in September. This involves briefings with police, fire authorities and other emergency services across all Australian jurisdictions in preparation for the upcoming bushfire and disaster season.