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Submission to the inquiry into insurers' responses to 2022 major floods claims

November 2023


The floods across the East Coast of Australia in 2022 had a devastating effect on people. Thousands lost their homes and were displaced from their communities. Many had problems with their insurance claims that exacerbated the stress and anxiety they were already feeling.

Through client interactions and extensive research, CHOICE, in partnership with Financial Rights Legal Centre, Consumer Action Law Centre and West justice have gained insights into the challenges people have faced with insurance before and after the floods. While home and contents insurance is pivotal for post-flood recovery, many affected people find themselves increasingly unable to access its benefits.

Our findings reveal significant delays and issues in claims handling, inadequate communication from insurers, confusing terms and definitions in home insurance policies, a systemic underinsurance problem and a lack of affordable insurance with premiums on the rise, as well as poor land use planning that requires immediate solutions. All of which have contributed to a complex and increasingly critical situation.

Our submission draws upon a large number of case studies from Financial Rights' work on the Insurance Law Service as well as data analysis of this work. Case studies attributed to CHOICE were sourced from our previous research and report 'Weathering the storm: Insurance in a changing climate'. We make 34 recommendations in our submission that seek to address the issues we uncovered with claims handling, insurance contracts, affordability of insurance, internal dispute resolution, land use planning and disaster mitigation efforts.

Download the statement (PDF)

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