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SCA puts focus on insurance in election priorities

Making insurance affordable and accessible and addressing building defect problems are key planks in a Strata Community Association (SCA) federal election campaign document outlining priorities for the next government.

“We want to see governments act in the best interests of consumers, by governments at all levels reducing unnecessary fees, duties and levies and direct funding into efforts such as mitigation and weatherproofing that will drive down premiums and increase protections in the future,” SCA National President Chris Duggan said.

The priorities document supports “an effective reinsurance pool that is evaluated yearly and incorporates changes readily based on new modelling and events” as well as a strata titles mitigation pilot.

SCA says more action is needed to eradicate the “high prevalence” of building defects, with the Grenfell Tower disaster, Opal and Mascot tower failings and collapse of a Miami building highlighting ramifications.

“Strata managers sit at the centre of the building defects issue,” SCA says. “When a serious defect occurs, strata managers are working with insurers to manage the claim, with owners corporation committees to make informed decisions about how to proceed, and with governments to advocate for better consumer outcomes going forward.”

SCA says it believes all building defects are avoidable.

The document calls for a commitment to implement model guidance from the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report and the introduction of rating tools to give consumers more transparency and confidence when buying apartments in new developments.

“Model guidance, resources and codes of conduct are excellent for state and territory regimes to have guidance, however they may require additional resources, scrutiny or incentive to move towards meaningful reform,” it says.

The group calls for an expansion of building warranty schemes to include structures more than three storeys tall in all jurisdictions and proposes exploring the introduction of decennial liability insurance.

“We know the path forward, but we need leadership and cooperation between governments to get there, not just in one state or territory, but across the whole of Australia,” Mr Duggan said.