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10 reasons why our industry is floody effective 

In an attempt to align the corporate regulator’s recent report on claims handling with insurer profits, Melbourne’s Herald Sun recently ran with the headline “Our insurers are floody useless”. 

The newspaper also deemed it appropriate to include details – and pictures – of the homes of several insurance CEOs, or as it described them, “the fat cats pocketing your premiums”. 

With a government inquiry on last year’s floods looming, such attacks on the industry can be expected, but insurers will need to defend themselves. 

Record-breaking catastrophes undoubtedly stretched insurer systems and processes to the limit, but research by the team at suggests recent mainstream media coverage could be a classic example of not letting the facts get in the way of a good headline. 

Here’s 10 reasons why our industry is in fact a long way from useless. 

  1. Enabling Australians to live their lives: Last year in Australia 87 million risks were covered by 89 general insurance companies, resulting in $64.5 billion flowing through to the Australian economy. In personal and business spheres, it’s insurance that gives the confidence to acquire, adventure, innovate, and improve. 
  2. Paying claims – day in, day out: In 2022 insurers paid out $36.5 billion in claims, which equates to a staggering $147 million every working day. The claims we hear about tend to be the relatively small number that have gone wrong, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. 
  3. Getting people back on their feet after disaster strikes: Last year insurers were hit by a record-breaking flood catastrophe across NSW and Queensland, resulting in 242,000 claims totalling almost $6 billion. Despite covid-induced staffing and supply chain pressures, and other significant catastrophes, 90.7% of those claims have now been closed. 
  4. Making a point on dealing with climate change: The Federal Government has committed to spending $200 million a year, matched by states and territories, on disaster mitigation measures. The insurance industry helped make this happen, doggedly demanding action that was long overdue. More investment is still required, but work carried out under this scheme will not just help bring premiums down, it’ll save lives and property too. 
  5. Leading the way on land use planning: Everyone agrees – we need to stop building on floodplains. But it’s insurers who are working hardest to turn politicians’ promises into reality. The Insurance Council of Australia recently arranged a roundtable with like-minded industry groups to push the issue forward, and it won’t relent until the insanity of allowing developers to put more people in harm’s way stops. 
  6. Enabling the transition to a low carbon future: The Insurance Council of Australia last year unveiled its Climate Change Roadmap as it plots a path to net zero. And the global transition to net zero cannot happen without insurers covering the new risks that arise as industries reshape operations and rely on new technologies. 
  7. Technological innovation: Through industry investment and groups like Insurtech Australia, the industry is finding new ways to solve problems. From AI to big data and everything in between, the industry knows it needs to change fast as the risk environment and consumer expectations evolve – and it’s getting on with the job. 
  8. Major employers: The insurance industry in Australia employs more than 60,000 people, opening up a huge range of career pathways for the next generation of talent and leading the way on addressing diversity and inclusion with events like the annual Dive In Festival.
  9. Giving back: It’s impossible to calculate an accurate total, but the industry puts back millions of dollars every year into the communities it serves. Every major company delivers community grants, charity fundraising, volunteering schemes – or all of the above. 
  10. Nothing happens without insurance: Homes wouldn’t be built, people wouldn’t drive or travel. Factories wouldn’t run and businesses wouldn’t trade.  

In summary, Australia’s insurers are not floody useless, they’re bloody effective.