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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

ACCC hands final insurance affordability report to Government

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has completed its final report on insurance affordability in northern Australia.

An ACCC spokesman confirmed to insuranceNEWS.com.au that the Northern Australian Insurance Inquiry report has been handed to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, in keeping with the November 30 deadline.

While publication of the report is a matter for the Government, previous reports have been published before Christmas.

The probe began in 2017, after the Government directed the ACCC to conduct a “wide-ranging inquiry into the supply of residential building, contents and strata insurance in northern Australia”.

The inquiry aimed to help “address concerns about insurance availability and affordability, promote more informed and more competitive insurance markets, and make a difference for consumers in northern Australia”.

The most recent report published was the second interim report, dated December 20 last year.

That document rejected the idea of a reinsurance pool to bring down premiums, saying that while a pool could improve affordability, the gains are unclear and the costs could be significant.

However, as insuranceNEWS.com.au has reported, insurers separately agreed to help Federal Treasury investigate the feasibility of a government-funded cyclone reinsurance pool following a meeting with Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is also expected to release a report on insurance affordability and the impact on small businesses before the end of the year.

Many submissions to that inquiry were from businesses in northern Australia.