19 February, 2021
Premium relief for strata titles
A NEW player who brought welcome relief to the Far North Queensland housing insurance market just seven months ago is now drastically slashing premiums for strata titled buildings.
The ACCC’s three year Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry report released last month, found over the past decade insurance premiums in the north were higher and had increased at a faster rate than the rest of the country.
House owners willing to shop around have found some relief however until now unit owners have not been so lucky with many reporting a doubling or tripling of premiums.
Sure Insurance entered the Cairns market last year and have recently started offering strata insurance for buildings under $5 million, with reports of premiums being slashed by up to half.
The company also hope to be able to offer insurance options for buildings up to $15 million and beyond in the near future.
Somerville Condo body corporate committee member John Cole said after their insurer Resilium opted out of the market in 2020 their premiums skyrocketed from $12,000 to $32,000.
“There’s eleven units in the block and it’s (the insurance) almost as much as the body corporate for the whole block,” Mr Cole said.
Somerville Condo’s committee sort options from local brokers Lord’s Insurance who are preferred providers for Sure Insurance and were able to reduce premiums back to around $16,000.
Lord’s General Insurance Specialist Sean Lord said the hikes would be felt across the region this year especially with some strata blocks experiencing increases of $100,000 and beyond compared to recent years.
“We’ve had a lot, we had one I just did the other day had gone from $50,000 two years ago then it went $80,000 last year and this year it’s gone to $140,000,” Mr Lord said.
In their Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry report the ACCC made 38 recommendations that seek to improve outcomes in the short, medium and long term.
A series of recommendations relating to risk mitigation, or making insurance more affordable by reducing the risk of property loss or damage, where part of the recommendations.
While the recommendations were only released last month, Sure Insurance is already using this ‘future-proofing’ approach to enable customers to realise drastically lower premiums.
Sure Insurance Managing Director Bradley Heath said they were able to reward customers with lower premiums based on the maintenance and mitigation strategies undertaken.
“We’re underwriting that particular property, we’re not taking a view of the whole area,” he said.
“That’s why we ask a lot of questions of strata properties like tell us about your mitigation, what you’ve done to reduce the risk, tell us about your roof, tell us about all sorts of things.
“Things like that make thousands of dollars difference.”