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Insurance Inquiry

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.

Background

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.

Download:

Insurance Inquiry report (PDF 2MB)

Terms of Reference (PDF 454KB)

Media announcement

 

Submissions

Reference Number Name of Contributor
IN01 Confidential
IN02 Caravan & Camping Industry Association NSW (PDF 2MB)
IN03 Huon Valley Council (PDF 187KB)
IN04 Confidential 
IN05 Huon River Jet Boats Pty Ltd (PDF 417KB)
IN06 Queensland Hotels Association (PDF 177KB)
IN07 Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (PDF 241KB)

IN08.1

IN08.2

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)