The United Australia Party would fight for better insurance cover and lower premiums that properly reflected North Queenslanders’ true risk, North Queensland Secretary Jen Sackley said today.
“The Federal Government has an obligation to support changes that reflect the true risk of an area with regards to insurance matters in North Queensland,” Ms Sackley said.
“Local business people are coming into our Cairns office expressing outrage with current federal member Warren Entsch who has not been doing his job with regards to their general insurance.
“They have long running concerns about choice, cost and cover and they say that enough is enough,” Ms Sackley said.
“They feel that the global re-insurance companies that on-sell their products to local providers do not understand the true risk of local areas – often consulting outdated maps to underwrite their policies.
“Consumers are paying ridiculously over-inflated prices for cover that does not reflect their individual needs. For example one Cairns resident who lives in an elevated area that could never be flooded is outraged that he has to pay premiums that include flood cover,” she said.
Ms Sackley said residents had voiced their concerns with Mr Entsch time and again but he had done nothing.
“The community is angry and disillusioned. They want to know why Mr Entsch has not raised an opportunity to for them to benefit under the Australian Re-Insurance Pool Corporation.
“If insurance companies were given an option to use the Australian Re-Insurance Pool Corporation to reinsure rather than the current system relying on global re-insurance companies, it would keep cash in Australia allowing more competitors into the market place, and push prices down.
“Insurance policies for Australians must always be in the interest of Australian citizens first and foremost,” she said.
“Currently the Australian Re-Insurance Pool Corporation is intended for disasters resulting from acts of terrorism.
“If the Australian Re-Insurance Pool Corporation was expanded and available to all insurance types, this would allow more insurance companies into the market, creating competition and opportunity. This would lead to a reduction in consumer premiums as has been the experience in the United Kingdom.
“Clearly the people of North Queensland have had enough. If we had a government with guts, we could have lower insurance premiums in the best interests of all Queenslanders. It’s time for change. Queenslanders are looking for leadership and this is becoming clearer every day our door is open,” Ms Sackley said.