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10 December 2020

Politicizing Insurance Inquiry not helping small business: Ombudsman

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell is disappointed by a Labor Party media statement that inappropriately politicized her Insurance Inquiry final report.

Ms Carnell says although the report recommends a number of reforms that require government action, it was in no way critical of the Federal Government.

“I’m very disappointed by the Labor Party’s media statement regarding our Insurance Inquiry because it detracts from the real issues that are impacting small businesses every day,” Ms Carnell says.

“Our Inquiry found widespread market failure in regards to the availability and affordability of essential small business insurance products.

“The report does not politicize this issue and I believe it is inappropriate to do so.

“The fact is the local insurance market has been hardening for years, with insurers adapting their risk weightings to increasing threats. The natural disasters, such as the catastrophic bushfires that happened earlier this year, have brought this issue to a head.

“Our comprehensive report made a suite of recommendations designed to rebalance the risks taken on by insurers and make small business insurance products more accessible.

“This is a critical issue that is sending far too many small businesses to the wall and what they really need right now is solutions – not a political bun fight.

“For the sake of Australian small businesses, I hope that all sides of politics can work together on this issue to ensure small businesses have access to the insurance products that are essential for their operation.”