Wild fires - the legal regulatory system of insurance and emergency services funding

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TitleWild fires - the legal regulatory system of insurance and emergency services funding
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsCarter, RAnne
JournalSouthern Cross University Law Review
Start Page75
Date Published2011
KeywordsFire insurance premiums, Manners and customs, Public health, Social history
Abstract In Australia there is no specific insurance for catastrophic losses. This is particularly problematic due to the propensity for the nation to be subject to severe geographical and climatic events such as extreme bushfires which are becoming increasingly frequent and increasingly severe. Despite this trend in increased catastrophic events and the additional strains upon the system after events such as Black Saturday and to a lesser extent after other smaller wildfires the system has retained its pre-disaster status quo. To compound this problem, the situation is particularly grave for many Australians who remain uninsured or underinsured. It has been suggested that 'almost 70% of tenants have no contents cover.' This problem was exposed as a result of the Black Saturday fires in Victoria during February 2009 when approximately one third of people in some of the affected areas were inadequately insured. Although there is inconsistency with the precise figures regarding the number of inadequately insured people, it has been suggested to be much higher than the number of those who were uninsured. The consequential property and economic loss resulting from Black Saturday was largely alleviated due to the generosity of the Australian public. This however raises issues regarding the maintenance of our current system and its ability to cope with the increasing number of catastrophic events.