The devastating flooding in southeast Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) in February and March 2020 has emphasised the need for home insurance. However, Climate Council has warned that one in 25 Australian homes are expected to be uninsured by 2030.
In a detailed analysis, the Climate Council further revealed that the number rises to one in seven homes among Australia's top 10 electorates most at-risk of climate impacts as climate change causes more frequent and more severe weather events.
Based on the percentage of “high risk” properties by 2030, the top 10 most at-risk electorates are:
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie commented: “Climate change is playing out in real time here, and many Australians now find it impossible to insure their homes and businesses. Over the past eight years, the Federal Government has failed to meaningfully tackle climate change or prepare Australians for the worsening extreme weather events that we are now experiencing.”
Focusing on the future of home insurance in Australia, the council launched a new interactive climate risk map based on hundreds of millions of data points analysed by Climate Valuation. The map enables users to plug in their suburb, local government area, or electorate to discover the risk of fires, floods, and extreme winds based on low, medium, and high emission scenarios across decades.
Climate Valuation CEO Dr Karl Mallon said the team analysed the impacts of climate hazards on 14 million Australian addresses to feed information to the map to show the physical risk that extreme weather and climate change poses to homes across the country over the next decade and beyond.
“It's striking how the number of affected properties grows under higher emissions scenarios. Reducing emissions would potentially save thousands of homes from worsening damage. I encourage all homeowners and buyers to ensure they fully understand the local hazards and get a property-specific report on their risk,” Mallon said.
The insurance industry has been working on addressing underinsurance as climate change causes more frequent and severe weather events across Australia. The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), for example, calls for all Australian governments to boost funding to make the country more resilient to extreme weather.
“Insurers and banks are already quantifying the risks from climate change. It's essential that Australians inform themselves about these risks to their safety and financial wellbeing, which are well known to financial institutions and governments,” Mallon said.