05 March 2011

Disaster Insurance Review , Australia Launches

Disaster Insurance Review , Australia Launches : SYDNEY—Australia's government created a review board Friday to assess the country's disaster insurance industry on the heels of two devastating natural disasters in just the last few months.

The National Disasters Insurance Review will be chaired by John Trowbridge, who until last year served as one of three government-appointed executive members of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, or APRA, the national regulator for banking, insurance and superannuation.

"This review provides an opportunity for an independent review of issues relating to insurance in light of the recent disasters, in the context of the long-term funding of disaster relief," said Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten. "It will provide answers about how individuals and communities affected by the floods and other natural disasters are able to recover and rebuild as quickly as possible."

The review will report back to the government by the end of this year.

The effects of significant flooding in the Australian state of Queensland in recent months, as well as the impact of category five Cyclone Yasi on that region's banana and sugar cane industries, continue to put significant pressure on a state that accounts for 15% of the country's gross domestic product. Businesses, citizens and the insurance industry have all been squeezed by the disasters, with insurance executives signaling higher premiums were likely to heighten the pressure even as government leaders move to quell the disasters' impact.

Coupled together, the floods have also placed pressure on the government's pledge to return the country's budget to surplus in the year ending June 30, 2013.Read More...

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