Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise today to draw further attention to an issue that is affecting many small businesses across Eden-Monaro.
Businesses are desperately trying to renew their insurance policies but in the wake of the Black Summer bushfires – they’re finding they’re either being rejected or asked to pay unaffordable premiums.
As the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell put it this morning – there is widespread market failure in regards to the availability and affordability of essential small business insurance products.
Our friends in Northern Australia have been flagging this for some time – increasing cyclones and floods as a result of climate change have already made insurance an unaffordable luxury -
Since 2017 the ACCC has been investigating the issue and I understand that its final report is currently with the Treasurer.
Mr Deputy Speaker, my community simply can’t afford to wait any longer.
Insurance underpins the investment and jobs we need for our renewal following drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19.
The market and the environment have been ringing the alarm bell for years.
The canary in the coalmine died long ago and is now festering on the doorstep of households right around Eden-Monaro.
This government needs to work with the insurance sector so that everyday Australians aren’t left exposed.
Insurance saved the day for many people after they lost everything in the flames of last summer – we will compound that trauma and expose government finances further if we don’t fix this now.