Today's House Economics Committee hearing into the insurance sector has revealed the extent that coal is smashing the insurance industry, highlighting the risks of the government's high-carbon 'snapback' strategy to Australian businesses and homeowners.
Greens Leader and member of the House Economics Committee, Adam Bandt, said that evidence from insurers to today’s committee hearing showed that the climate emergency could make some homes uninsurable as insurers face double-digit percentage increases in their re-insurance costs.
“The coal-fuelled climate emergency could make some homes uninsurable,” said Greens Leader Adam Bandt.
“Insurer Youi told the committee their re-insurance costs may increase by double-digit percentages and that we could end up with a two-tier system in Australia where some people can get their homes insured and some can’t.
“The Insurance Council of Australia told the Committee that 4 degrees of warming would be ‘catastrophic’, but that’s what the Bureau of Meteorology has said we’re on track for.
“In a vote of no-confidence in governments’ action, Suncorp revealed it too is undertaking modelling for a 3-4 degree temperature rise, a scenario that could mean a planet only inhabitable by 1 billion people by the end of this century.
“Frighteningly, IAG told the committee it is scenario planning for up to a 4.9 degree rise. At that temperature Australia is effectively uninhabitable.
“Suncorp also told the Committee the cost for their business was already $145m in increased payout provisions and reinsurance cost.
“With Suncorp‘s climate price-tag at $145m and rising, and with Youi facing double-digit percentage hikes for re-insurance, coal is starting to smash Australia’s insurers.
“Unless we act on the climate emergency now, this summer’s coal-fuelled bushfire devastation is a sign of things to come and there may be no way of insuring against it.
"Global heating isn't a scientific model, it's a grim reality for Australia's business community. The climate crisis is here, but that doesn't mean we need to accept as a done deal the social and economic devastation it will create. We need action to reduce emissions urgently, and the business community should join the Greens in banging on Morrison's door until we get it."
Note: both days of the committee hearings are accessible via the APH Parlview stream