Costigan calls for state action on insurance crisis
NORTH Queensland First leader Jason Costigan has put pressure on the State Government to commit to adopting state relevant recommendations of the ACCC's Northern Australia insurance inquiry.
The Whitsunday MP said small business owners and retirees up and down the Queensland coast were still battling the soaring cost of insurance, with cyclone season just days away.
Mr Costigan said he was "disappointed" by Treasurer Jackie Trad's response after he asked if she would commit to adopting the recommendations during State Parliament today.
In July 2017, the ACCC launched the inquiry into the supply of residential building, contents and strata insurance in northern Australia.
In December 2018, an interim report on the inquiry put forward 15 recommendations, which the ACCC sought to have adopted immediately.
The report found insurance premiums were considerably higher in northern Australia and had soared by 130 per cent in real terms between 2008 and 2018, compared to an average 50 per cent rise in the rest of the country.
The recommendations included abolishing stamp duty on insurance products, banning commissions for insurance brokers, making products more comparable and applying unfair contract terms protections to insurance products.
Despite the ACCC's call, Ms Trad said the government was waiting for the report to be finalised.
"There could be changes between the draft recommendations and the final recommendations," she said.
Ms Trad also warned the Australian Insurance Council was predicting "uninsurability" of some communities in Australia because of the impacts of climate change.
"If that is not a wake-up call for those opposite, I do not know what is," she said.
" … Quite frankly, first and foremost we need to demonstrate to insurance companies and the people of Queensland that we take seriously action on climate change."
A final report on the inquiry is due on November 30, 2020.