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27 June, 2021

Insurance control hint

THE Morrison Government has hinted at introducing new initiatives to control and regulate North Queenslanders home insurance costs.

By John Bell

The surprise and dramatic announcement by Assistant Federal Treasurer, Michael Sukkar has been prompted by a new insurance competitor, Sure Insurance, offering a 70 percent cut to North Queensland’s home insurance rates.

The Assistant Treasurer’s sudden announcement was also promoted by claims made to The Mackay Local News by Federal Opposition Insurance spokesman Matt Thistlethwaite, that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s new $10 billion home reinsurance pool would only create a 10 percent cut in home insurance charges.

“The Government will explore ways to ensure that reinsurance savings get passed onto consum- ers as part of the final design,” Mr Sukkar declared.

“Options include tasking the Australian Competition and Con- sumer Commission (ACCC) with monitoring home insurance prices to ensure that the savings from the reinsurance pool are making it into insurance premiums.

“This includes altering existing disclosure regimes to more clear- ly show consumers, what portion of their insurance costs are being driven by reinsurance costs.

“The Federal Government’s reinsurance pool for cyclone and flood damage will cover North Queensland home owners from July 1, 2022,” Mr Sukkar added.

The claims of a just 10 percent cut in future North Queensland home insurance rates made by Mr Thistlethwaite have also been hotly disputed by Dawson MP George Christensen.

He was a key figure in creating the Federal Government’s new initiative to cut North Queenslander’s home insurance rates.

“No one figure can be given at the date, but predictions are for a 50 percent cut in insurance premi- ums,” Mr Christensen said. But both the Federal Government and the Federal Labor Opposition have come out in support of Sure Insurance’s 70 percent cut in North Queensland home insurance rates.

Mr Thistlethwaite, said that “it’s great to see some com- petition in the North Queensland home insurance market.

“I hope that this new player can shake-up home insurance and get cheaper premiums for long suffer- ing residents in North Queensland.

“But Sure’s 70 percent home insurance discount is based on a new business mode. “Its strength is that every property insured by Sure has an onsite inspection, whereas other insurance companies just do home insurance quotations over the phone.

“I hope that Sure will offer home insurance to all customers in North Queensland and not just insure low risk houses, plus Sure will have to payout if there is a cyclone or a flood.

“The Labor Party also wants to make sure there are incentives in reassurance to ensure better build- ing standards and better building codes to protect homes.”

Mr Christensen added that Sure Insurance’s 70 percent discount is based on a very special model in North Queensland that other Australian insurance companies haven’t followed.

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