ACIL report exposes strata insurance regulatory gaps

Calls for reform intensify

ACIL report exposes strata insurance regulatory gaps

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

The Australian Consumers Insurance Lobby (ACIL) has published an in-depth report revealing the gaps in the strata insurance sector.

ACIL published its findings following its Nationwide Survey on Questionable Practices in Strata Insurance, which commenced on March 20.

The report aggregates a wide range of feedback into a succinct summary, highlighting significant issues and detailing ACIL's future strategies for advocacy and reform within the strata insurance sector.

ACIL chair Tyrone Shandiman reflected on the survey's robust response rate, noting that the participation of 87 stakeholders surpassed initial expectations.

“This high level of engagement, especially from those within the industry, signals a commendable readiness to confront and rectify the issues plaguing the strata insurance sector. It's particularly encouraging to see significant input from industry insiders, with some of the most revealing insights coming from these individuals, including an anonymous tip-off that brought to light the questionable practices of a previous employer,” he said.

Key findings from ACIL's strata insurance survey

The survey found additional issues such as ownership conflicts within the supply chain. It identified 10 problematic figures – five strata managers and five insurance brokers – who are now subjects of ACIL's ongoing investigations. These findings could potentially lead to actions involving regulatory bodies like the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The report noted uncertainty among respondents about which regulatory body is responsible for overseeing the sector. This confusion underscores the pressing need for clearer governance and regulatory frameworks.

The report also revealed an industry milieu where ethical behaviours are often overlooked, and improper and illegal activities are sometimes rewarded. This issue appears to be systemic rather than isolated to individual bad actors.

Moreover, dissatisfaction with the Strata Community Association (SCA) was evident, with some respondents advocating for extensive reforms or even a complete restructuring of the organisation.

Calls for extensive review to tackle strata insurance issues

The identified issues were not confined to strata insurance but suggested broader concerns within the strata management industry as a whole, calling for an extensive review to tackle a wider spectrum of consumer issues.

ACIL stressed the urgent need for a government inquiry to clarify contentious practices, which it believes is crucial for enabling strata managers to operate more effectively and for helping consumers make more informed choices.

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