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Insurance, Regional Country Services

Flood insurance inquiry to hold hearings in Melbourne and regional Victoria, 17-19 April

House of Representatives 3 mins read

The House Standing Committee on Economics will hold public hearings in Melbourne and regional Victoria from 17–19 April as part of its inquiry into insurers’ responses to 2022 major floods claims.

The Committee will hold public hearings at:

  • Maidstone Community Centre, Maribyrnong – Wednesday 17 April
  • Rochester Shire Hall, Rochester – Thursday 18 April
  • Heathcote RSL Hall – Friday 19 April

Committee Chair Daniel Mulino MP said the inquiry had heard from regulators, insurance companies and consumer advocacy and legal rights groups. “Now we want to hear firsthand from the locals in some of the worst-hit regions.”

When the Maribyrnong River flooded on the night of October 13, 2022, it devastated more than 600 homes and businesses across the suburbs of Maribyrnong, Avondale Heights, Kensington and Ascot Vale, and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage. It was the river’s third-worst flood on record – with Maribyrnong bearing the brunt of the damage.

Dr Mulino said the hearing on April 17 will hear from affected councils, community organisations and businesses, which have been invited to give evidence at roundtable discussions. Organisations that wish to contribute can email their interest to the Committee secretariat.

Expressions of interest are also being sought from residents to give a three to four-minute public statement about their experience with their insurers. Dr Mulino urged people “with a story to share, and who are willing to go on the public record, to register – as soon as possible – their interest in appearing”.

The Committee would like to hear about any of the following issues:

  • the experiences of policyholders before, during and after making claims
  • timeframes for resolving claims
  • obstacles to resolving claims
  • insurers’ communication with policyholders
  • accessibility, affordability and quality of hydrology reports and other expert assessments
  • affordability of insurance premiums
  • claimants’ experiences of insurers’ dispute resolution processes.

People who wish to make a public statement should email a one or two sentence summary of their experience to the Committee secretariat at floodinsurance.reps@aph.gov.au. They should write “Public hearing” and the hearing location (Maribyrnong, Rochester or Heathcote) in the subject line and include the full name(s) for each person who wants to participate, as well as a contact number and email address.

Dr Mulino said that the hearings may not be able to accommodate everybody on the day. “We know that in some of these places almost everyone has a story to tell. But for anyone who misses out or who wishes to provide information to the Committee, there is still time to make a public or confidential submission, and/or complete our online survey.”

More than 400 people have completed the survey about their experience with their insurer.

Submissions can be uploaded through this online link or emailed to floodinsurance.reps@aph.gov.au until 31 July 2024.

Programs for the hearings will be posted on the inquiry website closer to the time. A live audio stream of the hearings will be available on the APH website.

Online survey: The survey is open until 31 July and is available here.

For further information contact the Committee secretariat on 02 6277 4707 or email floodinsurance.reps@aph.gov.au.

Public hearings, April 2024:  Programs will be posted on the inquiry website closer to the time. A live audio stream of the hearings will be available on the APH website.

Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Vic

Date: 17 April 2024
Time: 9am (tbc)
Location: Maidstone Community Centre

Rochester, Vic

Date: 18 April 2024
Time: 9am (tbc)
Location: Rochester Shire Hall

Heathcote, Vic

Date: 19 April 2024
Time: 9am (tbc)
Location: Heathcote RSL Hall

Media inquiries

Committee Chair
Dr Daniel Mulino MP
02 6277 4311
Daniel.Mulino.MP@aph.gov.au

Background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4707
floodinsurance.reps@aph.gov.au

For more information about the Economics Committee and its flood inquiry, visit its website, where you can read submissions and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can track the committee’s work and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track this Committee’ button on the bottom right-hand side of the page.

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