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EMBARGOED UNTIL January 14, 2020 10:30 AM

STRATA OWNERS UNFAIRLY SLUGGED WITH INSURANCE

Australia -

Media Release | INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY AVAILABLE

Tuesday 14 January, 2020

STRATA OWNERS UNFAIRLY SLUGGED WITH INSURANCE

Most strata property owners have no idea they are being financially penalised by Governments over compulsory insurance which could become more expensive in the wake of Australia’s bushfire emergency.

Strata Community Association (SCA) National President Andrew Chambers is urging Governments to review the way the statutory charges are imposed to make the system fairer for strata property owners.

“The current system of taxing insurance premiums is inequitable and results in higher costs to those consumers who take out insurance while those who have the ability to choose are being subsidised,” he said.

Mr Chambers has supported calls from the Insurance Council of Australia for federal budget planning to be boosted to give more funding to disaster mitigation in light of the current catastrophic bushfire season.

The Council said that having an appropriate level of insurance cover is vital to everyday Australian life but revealed that of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on disaster funding each year, just 3% is spent on mitigation and prevention while 97% goes towards clean-up and recovery.

Mr Chambers said the imbalance needed to be corrected as a national priority.

But he warned strata property owners would be hit with higher insurance costs due to the ever-increasing burden of taxation on insurance as a result of the double and triple taxes imposed.

“Government imposed taxes, duties and levies are increasing the cost of insurance policies by 20-45% depending on the number of taxes imposed,” Mr Chambers said.

“ln NSW, one of only two states to still impose the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) on insurance premiums, this together with the GST and stamp duty, can increase an average base premium of $5,000 by 40% to just over $7,000.”

With the NSW Government increasing the ESL by 39% over the 2019-2021 financial years, Mr Chambers said this will have a major impact on the insurance premiums charged.

“This current funding of the ESL is effectively an additional tax on property owners who are subsiding those who do not purchase other insurance products such as building or contents,” he said.

“There is a need for those states that still impose the ESL on insurance premiums to have an immediate change in policy as to how the ESL is charged. Other states have removed the ESL and reallocated this to rates, which is a fairer way of ensuring all landowners pay the ESL.”

Under various state legislations, strata insurance is compulsory with owners having no choice but to insure and pay the ESL while freehold landowners have the option to insure and avoid the ESL.

ENDS

About

About Strata Community Association

Strata Community Association Limited (SCA) is the peak industry body for Body Corporate and Community Title Management in Australia & New Zealand. Membership includes body corporate managers, support staff, committee members and suppliers of products and services to the industry. SCA proudly fulfils the dual roles of a professional institute and consumer advocate.

SCA has in excess of 3,300 members who help oversee, advise or manage a combined property portfolio with an estimated replacement value of over $1.2 trillion. Website: http://stratacommunity.org.au/

(ENDS)

Contact Details

Released by:
Pat McGuire
Marketplace Communications
0412 748161
Patrick.mcguire@mpc.com.au

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