- The scheme is set underwrite cyclone-induced damage and flooding above the Tropic
- Queensland Government has slammed Federal Gov for not introducing the scheme until next July
- Treasury taskforce underway to detail the scheme
Thanks to ongoing natural disasters, insurance premiums continue to rise in Far North Queensland.
In light of this, the Federal Government announced a $10 billion reinsurance pool last month, following calls from multiple organisations, including a coalition of 77 councils of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).
Along with underwriting cover for privately-owned homes, strata corporations and small businesses that are located north of the Tropic of Capricorn are set to be covered.
When announcing the scheme, Prime Minister Scott Morrison initially suggested he expects insurance premiums to fall by about 10% due to the scheme.
The Queensland Government, however, has criticised the Federal Government for only allocating $2.4 million to establish a task force for the scheme – which is set to begin 1 July 2022 at the earliest.
“This is an absolute slap in the face to the people of Far North Queensland,” said Craig Crawford, Member for Barron.
“Insurance premiums will continue to soar because Scott Morrison dragged his feet. Easing cost of living pressures for working families should be a priority for the government.
“I urge the Federal Government to go back to the drawing board immediately and deliver the $10 billion reinsurance pool they promised.”
Michael Healy, the Queensland Assistant Minister for Tourism, and the State Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, have expressed disappointment in the Federal Government for only allocating funds to consult for the program and for “ no real action on insurance premiums”
“Rising insurance premiums are an issue that affects thousands of people here in Cairns,” said Mr Healy.
On Friday, a Treasury-led task force began preliminary discussions with representatives from major insurers such as the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
The Treasury Deputy Secretary, Markets Group Meghan Quinn said extra care needed to be taken when formulating the exact parameters of the reinsurance pool so it can ultimately deliver reduced premiums for policyholders.
“That is why we are going through the consultation process and working very closely with industry to shape and frame the reinsurance pool to deliver reductions, as the government has asked us to do,” said Ms Quinn.