The federal government has been called on to address the concerns of Far North Queensland homeowners on exorbitant home insurance premiums.
A campaign has been launched by Roger Ward of Cairns Mortgage Brokers that encourages the government to review the merits of resurrecting the State Government
Insurance Office (SGIO) to offer consumers more affordable policies for natural disasters.
SGIO was sold off in 1996, leaving Far North residents paying thousands of dollars more for insurance as compared to those in southern cities.
The member for Mulgrave said he wrote to Kelly O’Dwyer, federal minister for revenue and financial services, to urge the Commonwealth to make a “critically overdue” response to a report by the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce.
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“Like other locals I know, insurance affordability in Far North Queensland is a major concern,” he told the Cairns Post. “I know that the rapid increases we’ve seen in insurance premiums are in some cases over 1,000% in recent years.”
Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt claimed the state government will only be capable of operating a general insurance business if it diverts funds from health and education, Cairns Post reported.
Pitt cited findings by the Northern Australia Insurance Premium Taskforce that listed mitigating premiums, such as cyclone-proofing households, as the key to lowering consumer costs.
“Clearly we cannot influence where, when, or how hard a cyclone will hit, but we can do things to reduce its impact,” he said.
Barron River MP Craig Crawford said he was not opposed to reviving SGIO and planned to discuss the idea with his departmental staff.
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