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Connexus : Issue 41
affordability it is even more crucial to make sure that it doesn’t allow a system to emerge where people who can’t affor d flood cover are unable to access home insurance at all,” says Scofield. A new measure announced by the government in June will ensure flood insurance take-up and the numbers of people choosi ng to opt out remai ns subject to scrutiny. Financial ser vices minister Bill Shorten says the government will collect quarterly data, aggregated on a state -by-state basis, on flood insurance take-up and the numbers of people opting out, clai ming it would be “an important improvement in transparency”. Other initiatives The measure is just one of a series of initiatives currently reshaping the flood insurance market. The industr y was hoping to see the draft regulations on the key fact sheet for consumers that were heav ily prescr iptive to safeguard against potentially misleading the consumer. In mid-June the regulation on the standard flood definition was implemented, defi ning it as: “the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been r eleased from the normal confines of: any lake, or any r iver, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or any reser voir, canal or dam”. Insurers are said to have already implemented a number of recommended changes including an overall time limit on a decision being made on a claim and improved access to expert repor ts. Meanwhile an independent review of the General Insurance Code of Practice is under way by financial ser vices law yer and academic, Ian Enright, appoi nted by the Insurance Council of Australia. Christine long is a freelance writer. Microelectronic Solutions Pty Ltd, 26/380 Eastern Valley Way, CHATSWOOD NSW 2067 www.abacus.org.au 29 www.abacus.org.au 29