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Insurance issues wrecking north Qld market

By Staff Reporter
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Difficulties with insurance have caused the north Queensland apartment market to suffer to the point of being the worst performer across the country, according to a leading body corporate company in Queensland.

Archers Body Corporate Management’s managing director, Colin Archer, explained that many insurers have abandoned the north Queensland market due to the conditions.

Current legislation allows insurance companies to pick and choose which areas of the state they offer strata insurance to, which has caused many of the companies to leave the market, Mr Archer said.

“The lack of competition has led to increased premiums, which has caused stamp duty and GST income to soar, meaning the state and federal governments have benefited from increased revenue without providing any additional services for unit owners," he said.

“The impact of spiralling costs has forced some owners to go without insurance and has eroded the unit market in north Queensland - to the point where it is now the worst performing property market in Australia.”

To rectify the issue would require government involvement, Mr Archer said, calling for intervention to “restore some normality in the north Queensland insurance market” and solve the issue.

Federal member for Leichhardt, Queensland, Warren Entsch pointed to recommendations given after the In the Wake of Disasters inquiry.

“Our work through the Coalition Policy Development Committee on Insurance has uncovered many complexities between state and federal government responsibilities, and the insurers themselves – there is no silver bullet within a single jurisdiction that will fix this problem,” Mr Entsch said.

After 7 September, a roundtable will occur with the state government and industry involved to go through all the recommendations.

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