Senate inquiry urged to act on ‘unacceptable’ insurance woes – Daily – Insurance News

Queensland local governments and the caravan industry have pressed for action to address worsening insurance challenges around rising premiums and coverage limitations in submissions to a Senate inquiry on Australia’s disaster resilience.

The Australian Consumers Insurance Lobby (ACIL), which has actively pushed for measures to help disaster-prone communities, went a step further in its submission.

ACIL flagged a number of suggestions for consideration including reallocating stamp duty revenue to pay for mitigation works.

“Making properties more resilient before a major catastrophic event would lessen the impact and cost of those events,” the ACIL submission says.

“From an insurance perspective, it is widely accepted by the Federal Government, insurers and consumers that mitigation plays an important part in minimising the cost of disasters which would flow on to benefit consumers through lower insurance costs.

“What is yet to be determined is who should pay for mitigation.”

ACIL says stamp duty revenue should be used to pay for mitigation and resilience or the Federal Government should pay through consolidated revenue it has collected.

Alternatively a mitigation levy of 5-10% on insurance premiums on fixed property could be considered.

“While in the short term this may cost consumers in higher premiums, it would benefit consumers in the long term through lower premiums if insurers had reduced claims as it should flow through to premium reductions,” the ACIL submission says.

“This additional levy should be sold to consumers not as an additional cost, but as an investment to reduce premiums in the future.”

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia submission says access to affordable and viable insurance is a “fundamental” need for all businesses.

Yet many of its members are still struggling to secure the insurance they need for their caravan operations.

“This has seen businesses, caravan parks, being placed into situations whereby they cannot trade for periods of up to 12 months because they cannot either rehabilitate, repair or remediate their business.

“Our nation’s business insurance crisis is well-acknowledged by the Australian government and across the bi-partisan divide. It now requires action and intervention for a sustainable long-term outcome.”

The Local Government Association of Queensland says the cost and availability of insurance cover for volunteers has also impacted many volunteer organisations and is also an area of concern for local governments who may seek to partner with a community organisation or activate its own volunteers.

“Insurance for volunteers has proven to be a complex area. Many community organisations struggle to understand the nuance of their insurance cover and how it applies during any disaster activation,” its submission says.

The Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience is to present a final report by the last sitting day in September and is taking submissions on an ongoing basis.

Click here for more information on the inquiry.

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