Karen Hardy, of ACME insurance brokers, has submitted her petition to government to try to change the proposed plans to allow unauthorised foreign insurers access to the Australian market.
Hardy has submitted the first draft of the petition, which currently has more than 100 signatories, to Senator Cormann and the treasury directly and each time another 100 signatories are received, the petition will be re-sent.
“I would dearly love for Australian brokers to support this petition as the ramifications of collective complacency could be huge for all including consumers, insurers and brokers,” Hardy said of the petition.
Hardy is concerned that, if the proposed changes to allow greater access for UFIs into the Australian market are allowed to go ahead, then Australian based brokers will “flounder and fold".
In a letter sent alongside the petition, Hardy said: “This is not the time to open our insurance market to the nuances of the world. Seek an Australian-based solution to an Australian-based problem and maintain our high levels of integrity and consumer protection within our shores.”
In the same letter, Hardy charges that Senator Cormann, in an announcement made at the end of October, is “ignorant of the legislation under which general insurance brokers operate and the fiduciary nature of a general insurance brokers’ role within the industry proper".
Hardy outlined other options the government could use to curb the price rises in North Queensland including an insurance levy of 1% on all written premiums in Australia to be used throughout the country in the wake of disaster and a contribution between insurers and government – similar to the EQCover Scheme in New Zealand – to build a pool of funds for consumers and lower the losses of insurers.
If you would like to sign the petition, it is available here