Australia: Govt proposes inquiry into bushfires as insured losses mount
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Feb 2020
Ongoing Australian bushfires, which started last September, have caused insured losses of nearly A$1bn ($690m).
The Insurance Council of Australia increased to more than A$900m its estimate of damage claims from the fires, and they are expected to jump further.
Prime minister Scott Morrison flagged the royal commission which will look at the impact of climate change, the operational response at a state and local level and the role of the federal government.
He said that Australia must prepare for ‘a new normal’ with more severe bushfires, floods, cyclones and drought, reported 9News.
The disaster has killed at least 28 people, claiming 2,000 homes, raging across more than 10m ha of land and destroying wildlife and livestock.
The bushfire crisis will also have a major economic effect as economists warn about half a percentage point will be wiped from national economic growth. Westpac estimated total bushfire economic losses to date at about A$5bn. It forecast a hit of 0.2-0.5 percentage point on GDP. A