Selected highlights taken from the summary of the latest ACCC report:
We have identified problems and made recommendations. It remains with governments and industry to take action
Many consumers experienced particularly sharp increases in the period up to 2012–13, but our analysis suggests that average premiums have plateaued since this time.
When average premiums are looked at in combination with changes in average premiums per sum insured and changes in the total number of risks written, the data suggests that stable average premiums could be reflective of an increasing rate of noninsurance, particularly among customers who would otherwise be facing higher than average premiums. Stable premiums can also, in part, be explained by more consumers choosing a higher excess level, which is again supported by our data. While a higher excess amount can improve premium affordability, it reduces the value that consumers get from their insurance.
We recommended the governments of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia abolish stamp duty on home, contents and strata insurance products, which adds 9 per cent to premiums in Queensland and 10 per cent in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Failing that, we recommended to re–base stamp duty with reference to sum insured level, rather than the premium level. We suggested in any case governments should direct a portion of revenue to fund insurance affordability and risk mitigation initiatives.
Gross claims expenses in northern Australia increased by 226 per cent in 2018–19 to the highest level since 2010–11. Cyclone and storm claims are the largest contributor to claims costs in northern Australia, together making up 55 per cent of all claims expense in 2018–19. Northern Australia represented 19 per cent of national gross claims expenses for all home and contents insurance products in 2018–19, despite representing only 6 per cent of the policies.
Links have been updated at insurance which includes a chronological list of the saga.