Hello, I am Roger Ward, a resident of Cairns and Director of cairnsmortgagebrokers.com.au. As a finance professional I meet daily with homeowners and see them struggle with insurance premiums which have increased 300-800% in recent years. Its this experience which makes me someone who is deeply concerned about the spiralling Insurance costs for Queenslanders.
Let’s get some real action to lower building insurance costs in Queensland.
With the effects of the GFC still being felt throughout the economy, Queenslanders have been singled out for some special treatment by the insurance industry which has increased building insurance premiums, up to 800% in some cases.
These increases have been done under the guise that it’s a “means to recover costs” from cyclone Yasi and the Brisbane Floods, however as time goes by its evident it has less to do with costs and more to do with a marketing opportunity to increase premiums. The situation for consumers is further complicated by market failures that have led to an ever decreasing pool of insurers.
I feel the human cost of these increases has not been fully understood by the Qld State Government and the Federal Government. To put things in perspective, some of these building insurance premiums can take up to 46% if an age pensioner’s yearly income.
These building insurance increases have been felt across the board with strata properties, single dwellings and commercial property all being heavily affected. The increased premiums have brought no more cover, in fact, in a growing number of cases the increased fees are being charged with lower quality cover, in the form of changing definitions of climatic events, and event based large excess fees. Also, in some cases, post codes are simply eliminated from cover altogether by the major insurers thus leaving residents at the peril of insurers willing to take on the risk “at a price” .
Waiting is simply not an option. The Insurance industry has proven itself unwilling and dysfunctional in its ability to manage risk, and more importantly, manage shortfalls in the industries competition landscape.
In this election year I ask that all Queenslanders sign this petition so we can place our case for immediate action before our State and Federal Politicians who can do something about this. For immediate action I ask the following.
1. That Legislation is brought forward to compel Insurers to include Flood Cover and for the associated risk to be shared nationally via a reinsurance underwriting program.
2. For Legislation to be brought forward to outlaw Body Corporate Managers from receiving commissions solely on the basis of the premium amount they provide. This unholy commission scheme only puts a cash incentive for the Body Corporate Managers to supply higher premiums.
3. That a Parliamentary review be done of the Retail and Reinsurance market to assess if there is workable competition in the market and consider if there are opportunities to introduce more competition. Further to this, the review is to consider the Retail Insurance Consolidation that has occurred in the last decade and assess if this has resulted in a better outcome for consumers and if the industry has an environment that fosters competition.
4 For the State and Federal Government to form a joint committee to immediately consider the option to set up a fund to underwrite for the purposes of disaster insurance with the outcome to reduced premiums for Queensland residents.