Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Minister for Police; Road Safety; Defence Industry; Veterans Issues

    Ombudsman highlights unfair insurance practices for small business

    9/12/2020 1:35 PM
    • McGowan Government welcomes Australian Small Business and Family Ombudsman's recommendations in new report
    • Follows WA Small Business Commissioner highlighting rise in unfair practices and lack of access for small businesses
    • Affordable and robust insurance coverage essential for small businesses 

    The McGowan Government has welcomed the findings by the Australian Small Business and Family Ombudsman that echoes this Government's concerns about access to insurance for small businesses.


    The Insurance Inquiry Final Report released today by Ombudsman Kate Carnell found that small businesses are struggling to survive by either being denied insurance products or premiums increasing so much that they are priced out of the market.


    Small Business Minister Paul Papalia has repeatedly raised the issue in Parliament and with the Federal Government.


    Western Australia's Small Business Commissioner David Eaton wrote to the Ombudsman in July highlighting concerns about lack of access to insurance for small businesses who were struggling to recover from the impact of COVID-19.


    A preliminary inquiry by the Commissioner identified that a range of Australian insurers were no longer providing cover for certain activities or had significantly increased premiums for some tourism-based activities.


    This changed insurance landscape has forced some WA operators to look at closing their business.


    As a result of the Commissioner's advocacy, the Ombudsman launched a national inquiry into the practices of the insurance industry that affects small business.


    The final report makes several recommendations which are endorsed by the McGowan Government including making The General Insurance Code of Practice and the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice mandatory instead of voluntary, and amending both codes to require better responsiveness to small business needs.


    Comments attributed to Small Business Minister Paul Papalia:


    "Small businesses need access to support from all areas to ensure their ongoing survival during and beyond the COVID recovery period.


    "Access to quality and affordable public liability insurance is critical for small businesses in both Western Australia and across the nation.


    "The Ombudsman's Insurance Inquiry Report makes strong recommendations for a national approach to resolve this issue that is threatening to severely affect small businesses all over Australia.


    "I commend both this report and the advocacy of our WA Small Business Commissioner who brought the issue to national attention."


    Minister's office - 6552 5600