ACCC to use $7.9m to mon­i­tor north­ern Aus­tralia in­sur­ers

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Fund­ing in the 2017 Fed­eral Bud­get is set to be al­lo­cated to the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion to over­see in­sur­ance com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in North­ern Aus­tralia.

The Gov­ern­ment will pro­vide $7.9 mil­lion over four years from 2017-18 to the ACCC to mon­i­tor and re­port on prices, costs and prof­its in the in­sur­ance mar­ket for home, con­tents and strata in­sur­ance in North­ern Aus­tralia.

The fund­ing comes as North­ern Aus­tralia con­tin­ues to wait for a re­sponse from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to the North­ern Aus­tralian In­sur­ance Pre­mi­ums Task­force rec­om­men­da­tions fi­nalised in Novem­ber 2015.

Rec­om­men­da­tions in­cluded im­proved mit­i­ga­tion through education and re­search, greater recog­ni­tion of mit­i­ga­tion from the in­sur­ance in­dus­try, in­creased scope for pol­i­cy­hold­ers to as­sume more re­spon­si­bil­ity of risk and sub­sidised mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures for low-in­come house­holds.

The Gov­ern­ment was due to re­spond al­most one year ago.

Last month, WA Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan said the re­port had so far been noth­ing more than a “pro­duc­tion of shelf fillers”.

“If it is all too hard for the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment, ad­mit it and do not leave north­ern Aus­tralians hang­ing,” she said.

The re­port has drawn crit­i­cism from gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try bod­ies in the North West over con­cerns of home and busi­ness own­ers not be­ing taken into ac­count and fail­ing to ad­dress peo­ple in high-risk ar­eas who don’t in­sure.

In­sur­ance Coun­cil of Aus­tralia and Rev­enue and Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Min­is­ter Kelly O’Dwyer failed to re­spond by time of print. Du­rack MHR Melissa Price’s of­fice did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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