Insurance companies in Queensland are driving homeowners to the wall. Premiums for units, large complexes and resorts in North Queensland have increased by 200-800%. House premiums are beginning to rise rapidly too.
They are home to people like Lester, a self funded retiree. “Our complex premium has gone from $63,000 to $123,000. Several owners could not pay increased Body Corporate Fees which, in my case went from $1,900 to $3,000 per quarter. My wife and I are self funded retirees living on our allocated pension income. Since our allocated pension will not cover the increase in the Body Corporate Fees we are having to draw down from other savings to cover the situation. On top of that we are now restricted to very minimal visits to 6 grandchildren who are located in other areas. Our complex has not had a single insurance claim in the 6 years it has been built.”
It’s completely unjustified -- many increases are for buildings that have not flooded, have not claimed for any cyclone damage (or minimal claims) in the last 5 years, and are not affected by bushfires. Also, because there are only one or two companies insuring larger buildings, they charge whatever they like.
Meanwhile, the reports state that properties in Brisbane which did flood have received insurance premium increases of around 36%, and even in earthquake-torn Christchurch the increase is only 30% for residential properties.
There are so many stories, it’s heart-breaking. These increases are devastating lives and businesses and causing huge mental, physical health and financial difficulties.
North Queensland needs help NOW!!!!
· The recommendations resulting from the Cross Party Federal Parliamentary Inquiry to be actioned in full - in order to help ALL property owners
· The Insurance Council of Australia to concede there has been market failure in North Queensland
Please sign the petition, ask the insurance companies to stop gouging North Queenslanders and give them a fair go.
These are the major problems we want you to address:
1. Increases in premiums of 200-800% for unit owners, and now house owners in North Queensland
2. Withdrawal of insurance companies from the North Queensland market
3. Transparency of commissions and payments on insurance invoices
4. Lateness of advice, in one case 36 hours to raise over $100,000
These are the effects on communities of the problems above:
1. Inability of owners to pay body corporate fees and insurance premiums
2. Strata properties needing special levies required to cover insurance premiums
3. Loans set up to pay Body Corporate insurance premiums, involving more cost
4. Owners either moving out of their homes entirely or into different accommodation and renting their properties
5. Mental anguish and depression
6. Marketing properties has been close to impossible, even though mortgagee in possession sales increased dramatically
7. Reduced purchasing power and rent increases
1. An environment created in which insurance companies can return to the market and offer affordable insurance premiums to the people of North Queensland.
2. The recommendations resulting from the Cross Party Federal Parliamentary Inquiry held in February 2012 to be actioned in full - all 9 of them
3. The Insurance Council of Australia to concede there has been market failure in North Queensland
1. Sensible and affordable insurance premiums for all types of properties in North Qld
2. Transparant insurance invoices showing all payments to anyone concerned
3. Competition in the marketplace
4. Insurance premium rises to be capped (as with rents) and backdated to 2010-2011
5. At least 4 weeks notice of renewal premiums to allow for the monies to be raised and paid