CONCERNED Douglas region residents will meet representatives from the Federal Government over skyrocketing insurance premiums next Monday at the Port Douglas Community Hall.
In the past 12 months some businesses in the region have been sent notices by their insurance companies telling them their premiums for public liability and body corporate insurance would rise by up to 400 per cent.
Mai Tai Resort owner Anthony Roxburgh said his public liability premium had jumped from $2500 to $10,000 when he had to renew it last month.
“We’ll pay it because we have a gun to our heads, but it means we will have to forego our general and contents insurance for the rest of our home and business and so if there is a fire or a storm destroys our property we would be wiped out,” he said.
“Similar to many business people, we have worked damned hard over many years and invested many hundreds of thousands of dollars into the business only for insurance companies to turn around and do this. The mental anguish this causes everyone can be quite debilitating too.
“The Government must do something or people will be risking everything and going to the wall.”
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is investigating the issue and the committee will be holding a public hearing in Port Douglas next Monday, at the Community Hall, starting at 9am.
The chairman of the committee, Mr Graham Perrett MP, is concerned by reports from body corporate residents of insurance premium increases of up to 400 per cent also being imposed on them last year.
“The rate of strata title insurance premium increases in northern Queensland since Cyclone Yasi has been absolutely staggering and people are concerned whether these increases will be sustained,” Mr Perrett said.
The committee will assess whether it is justifiable for the Federal Government to intervene to address the affordability and accessibility of insurance in the residential strata title market.
The meeting will be held from 9am to noon and is open to the public.