Pushing for changes to insurance costs
THE high cost of insurance in north Queensland is going to be a key focus of a new parliamentary committee set up by the newlyelected Liberal Government.
The cost of home insurance, particularly strata insurance, has escalated in recent years making it unaffordable for some people.
Treasurer of the body corporate for Seastar Apartments, Margaret Shaw, is very passionate about this issue and has been fighting against the increased charges for the past two years.
Ms Shaw met with Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen in Airlie Beach on Monday.
Mr Christensen will join the parliamentary committee which has been set up to formulate a White Paper on development in northern Australia.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch is based in Cairns and will chair the committee.
Mr Christensen said the high costs of insurance would be a priority of the White Paper.
He said representatives of the Insurance Council of Australia and the four main insurance companies would be invited to take part in discussions about the issue – and he hoped that would happen before the end of the year.
Ms Shaw said she hoped there would finally be some changes made.
“I hope somebody at last is going to do something. Insurance is not a luxury. It’s a necessity,” she said.
Mr Christensen said it was also in the insurance industry’s favour to find a solution.
“When insurance is unaffordable, people stop taking it out. Then a natural disaster happens and we find half the population is uninsured. Then people ask the Government to step in and you end up with a natural disaster levy. Where does that leave the insurance industry? There are plenty of other countries that have natural disaster levies but I think the insurance sector needs to sort out its issues.”
Ms Shaw said some buildings damaged in the Brisbane floods were hit with an increase of 36 per cent to their insurance costs – and yet the insurance on some buildings in the Whitsunday region had increased by more than 300 per cent since Cyclone Yasi even though no claims had been made.
INSURANCE CLAIMS: Treasurer of the body corporate at Sea Star Apartments Margaret Shaw discusses insurance issues with Member for Dawson George Christensen.