No plans afoot to cut North West insurance costs

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
The price of insurance in the North West is sky high.
Camera IconThe price of insurance in the North West is sky high. Credit: Louise Allingham

A Federal Government investigation and regional hearings into high insurance prices in the North West have resulted in nothing but talk, five months after a string of recommendations was made to reduce rocketing premiums.

The first interim report from the Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry was released by the ACCC in December and carried 15 recommendations aimed at improving transparency and reducing the cost burden of insurance in WA’s North West, as well as the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Since then, not a single one of the recommendations has been acted on by the Federal and State Governments.

The first two recommendations were aimed at the State Government and suggested abolishing stamp duty on home, contents and strata products, or redirecting revenue raised towards mitigation works. However, a spokesman for Treasurer Ben Wyatt admitted the McGowan Government currently had no intention of doing so.

“There are no plans to act on either recommendation one or two, but the Government will continue to monitor the ACCC’s report,” he said.

The Pilbara News asked Member for Durack Melissa Price if the Federal Government had any plans to act on the other 13 recommendations, but she was unable to provide comments by deadline, despite being given four days to respond.

Some recommendations included standardising definitions of prescribed events, reviewing and mandating standard cover, and disclosing the premium, sum insured and excess on a renewal notice.

The report also contained 13 draft recommendations which the public were able to comment on until April 12.

The ACCC is considering those submissions and they will be uploaded to the Northern Australia insurance inquiry website by early May.

A spokeswoman for the ACCC said as it was in an election campaign, it was not in a position to comment on policy issues.

Its second interim report is due on November 30 and it expects to finalise the recommendations mid-year, but cannot pre-empt what they will be.

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