SACOSS report - Protecting the Basics: Insurance access for people on low incomes at risk from climate emergencies
The Protecting the Basics report finds that there is a significant proportion of people in South Australia on low incomes with uninsured homes, contents, and cars because they can’t afford insurance.
It highlights the potential negative consequences in the face of natural disasters, and proposes several strategies that government could take to increase access to insurance for people on low incomes.
In the report we argue that insurance needs to be viewed as an essential product, and call on the government to act to address insurance affordability.
The three key strategies suggested are:
- Home, contents, and vehicle insurance is subsidised for people on low incomes. This may best be achieved through the addition of a percentage-based ‘general insurance concession’ delivered through Concessions SA.
- Social housing providers should purchase contents insurance on behalf of all their tenants. If this is not possible, social housing providers should provide an insurance-with-rent scheme similar to in the UK.
- A not-for-profit, mutual microinsurance scheme is established to cover home, contents, and vehicle insurance for people on low incomes, with a government guarantee, and extensive community consultation.
If there is no government intervention, we can expect that a large number of people will have catastrophic, uninsured financial losses after future natural disasters, and risk falling into poverty, having their poverty entrenched, or being pushed into homelessness.
If these proposals are enacted, then more people would be financially protected during natural disasters, leading to better post-disaster outcomes for the individuals, communities, and the state.