The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has released the Insurance Inquiry final report, which has found widespread market failure in regards to the availability and affordability of essential small business insurance products.
The final report makes a suite of recommendations designed to rebalance risks taken on by insurers and make small business insurance products more accessible.
A major recommendation included in the report is to expand the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation to provide reinsurance for all natural disasters on commercial property insurance.
On 28 July 2020, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman launched an inquiry to investigate the practices of the insurance industry that impact small businesses and consider whether small business insurance products are fit for purpose.
There is a growing trend of insurance companies denying small businesses insurance or pricing insurance policies out of reach. In this new operating environment, small businesses that have held insurance policies for over a decade without a single claim are being refused renewal, or if offered renewal are discovering the cost has more than doubled. Many businesses with current policies have been subjected to unilateral changes that have reduced their coverage without consent, and with no refund of premiums.
The inquiry targeted a range of issues affecting small businesses including:
- the availability and coverage of insurance policies provided to small business
- insurance policy affordability
- the role of brokers in getting the right coverage
- contract changes that have not been agreed to and whether they amount to Unfair Contract Terms
- timeliness of insurance payouts and effectiveness of dispute resolution frameworks
- the effectiveness of relevant codes of conduct and legislation, including if applicable penalties are adequate.
Insurance Inquiry report (PDF 2MB)
Terms of Reference (PDF 454KB)
|Reference Number||Name of Contributor|
|IN02||Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW (PDF 2MB)|
|IN03||Huon Valley Council (PDF 187KB)|
|IN05||Huon River Jet Boats Pty Ltd (PDF 417KB)|
|IN06||Queensland Hotels Association (PDF 177KB)|
|IN07||Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (PDF 241KB)|
National Insurance Brokers Association (PDF 377KB)
National Insurance Brokers Association (PDF 433KB)
|IN09||Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (PDF 228KB)|
|IN10||Action Events (PDF 204KB)|
|IN11||Caravan Parks Association of Queensland Ltd (PDF 332KB)|
|IN12||Australian Commercial Jet Boating Association Inc (PDF 413KB)|
|IN13||Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (PDF 156KB)|
|IN14||Tourism Council WA (PDF 346KB)|
|IN15||Insurance Council of Australia (PDF 3MB)|
|IN16||Balmoral Australia (PDF 147KB)|
|IN17||Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (PDF 1MB)|
|IN18||Marina Industries Association (PDF 213KB)|
|IN19||Financial Planning Association of Australia (PDF 362KB)|
|IN20||Caravan Industry Association of Australia (PDF 327KB)|
|IN21||Queensland Small Business Commissioner (PDF 165KB)|
|IN22||The Newsagents Association of NSW and ACT Ltd (PDF 100KB)|
|IN23||The Australian Property Institute (PDF 223KB)|
|IN24||Law Council of Australia (PDF 254KB)|
|IN25||Victorian Caravan Parks Association (PDF 574KB)|
|IN26||Big4 Holiday Parks of Australia Pty Ltd (PDF 3MB)|