ONE IN 25 Australian properties will be effectively uninsurable by 2030, due to rising risks of extreme weather and climate change, a detailed analysis from the Climate Council has found.
Within Australia’s top 10 electorates most at-risk of climate impacts, that number rises to one in seven homes, as climate change fuels worse and more frequent disasters.
Hundreds of millions of data points were analysed by Climate Valuation which the Climate Council transformed into a new interactive Climate Risk Map.
Australians can plug in their suburb, local government area or electorate to discover the risk of fires, floods and extreme wind, based on low, medium and high emissions scenarios and across decades (by 2030, 2050 and 2100).
The map coincides with the launch of a new report, ‘Uninsurable Nation’, which takes a detailed look at the most at-risk electorates in Australia and calls for urgent action to reduce emissions this decade to avoid the situation deteriorating further.
Based on the percentage of ‘high risk’ properties by 2030, the top 10 most at-risk electorates are:
- Nicholls, Victoria: 27% or 25,801 properties
- Richmond, New South Wales: 20% or 22,274 properties
- Maranoa, Queensland: 15% or 9,551 properties
- Moncrieff, Queensland: 14% or 18,032 properties
- Wright, Queensland: 14% or 12,140 properties
- Brisbane, Queensland: 13% or 19,355 properties
- Griffith, Queensland: 13% or 14,812 properties
- Indi, Victoria: 11% or 11,215 properties
- Page, New South Wales: 11% or 11,691 properties
- Hindmarsh, South Australia: 11% or 10,775 properties
Nicki Hutley, Climate Councillor, leading economist and former Partner at Deloitte Access Economics said: “It is clear that Australia is fast becoming an uninsurable nation. Skyrocketing costs or flat out insurance ineligibility are becoming more and more widespread under climate change.
“As an economist, I find these new numbers shocking and deeply concerning. I urge all Australians to use this tool to understand the risk they and their communities face as we progress through this critical make or break climate decade. This map makes it clear that the emissions pathway the next federal government sets us on will play a critical role in determining the insurability and future prosperity of entire communities and regions across the country.”
Dr Karl Mallon, CEO of Climate Valuation, said: “We’ve analysed the impacts of climate hazards on 14 million Australian addresses to inform this national map showing the physical risk extreme weather and climate change poses to homes around the country over the next decade and into the future.
“It’s striking how the number of affected properties grows under higher emissions scenarios. Reducing emissions would potentially save thousands of homes from worsening damage. I encourage all homeowners and buyers to ensure they fully understand the local hazards and get a property-specific report on their risk.
“Insurers and banks are already quantifying the risks from climate change. It’s essential that Australians inform themselves about these risks to their safety and financial wellbeing, which are well known to financial institutions and governments.”
Amanda McKenzie, Climate Council CEO said: “Climate change is playing out in real time here and many Australians now find it impossible to insure their homes and businesses. Over the past eight years the Federal Government has failed to meaningfully tackle climate change or prepare Australians for the worsening extreme weather events that we are now experiencing.
“The decisions of the next Federal Government will influence the future impacts of climate change for generations to come. Pollution from coal, oil and gas must begin to plummet and we must scale up our renewable power so it meets the needs of all sectors of our economy.”
- Across all electorates in Australia, 3.6% of properties (520,944) or one in every 25 properties will be uninsurable by 2030. In addition, one in 10 (9%) of properties will reach the ‘medium risk’ classification by 2030, with annual average damage costs equalling 0.2% or more of the property replacement cost.
- Riverine flooding poses the biggest risk to properties. Of the properties classified as ‘high risk’ by 2030, the majority (80%) of that risk is due to riverine flooding.
- By 2030, 40 federal electorates across Australia will be home to 4% of properties classified as ‘high risk.’ Eighteen of these electorates (or 45%) are in Queensland.
- The percentage of properties that will be uninsurable by 2030 in each state and territory is 6.5% of properties in Queensland (193,232); 3.3% of properties in NSW (148,546); 3.2% of properties in South Australia (35,285); 2.6% of properties in Victoria (95,845); 2.5% of properties in the Northern Territory (2,783); 2.4% of properties in Western Australia (35,277); 2% of properties in Tasmania (6,905) and 1.3% of properties in the ACT (3,071).
- In the electorate of Nicholls in Victoria, which covers the Local Government Areas of Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, Moira, and parts of Strathbogie and Mitchell, one in four (26%) properties will be uninsurable by 2030. In Shepparton, almost 90% of properties will be uninsurable by 2030.
The Climate Council recommends Australia triple its efforts and take strong, bold measures to reduce its national emissions by 75 percent by 2030, and reach net zero by 2035. It is also calling on all federal political parties and candidates to adopt policies that: enable swift and deep emissions reductions across the whole of the economy; eliminate fossil fuel subsidies; prioritise investment in resilience; account for climate risks in land use planning; improve building standards and compliance; and support communities to ‘build back better’.
For interviews please contact Brianna Hudson on 0455 238 875 or Hannah Izzard on 0475 247 754 or Victoria Fratin on 0431 314 047
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
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