FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has slammed the insurance industry in Parliament today for not being serious about improving the affordability and availability of property insurance in Northern Australia.
“Submissions to the Northern Australia Insurance Taskforce from the insurers and the Insurance Council of Australia are overwhelmingly against government action,” he said.
“The ICA’s representation on the Taskforce continues to be disruptive rather than constructive, and the industry still says there isn’t a problem.
“This is despite the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland submission outlining business insurance hikes of up to 2,500 per cent.”
Mr Entsch added that the ICA presented the Taskforce with a misleading submission.
“They got four of the insurance companies to quote on properties in postcode 4825. They came back with fabulous prices and said there wasn’t a problem. But 4825 is Mt Isa – I’d like to know the last time that there was a cyclone in Mt Isa,” said Mr Entsch.
He said all the submissions to the Taskforce from outside the insurance industry recognise the need for intervention, and say that the cost of insurance premiums is a real threat to the economic growth of Northern Australia.
“I will continue to argue for a Northern Australia Mutual or a disaster re-insurance pool to get a better outcome,” said Mr Entsch.
“Again I commend Margaret Shaw for her very comprehensive work as the Northern Australia representative on the Taskforce’s reference panel.”
The Taskforce’s Interim Report is available online now, with the final report due to be released by late November.