Responding to the feedback received so far to the ASBFEO Insurance Inquiry, Ms Carnell said the “overwhelming response” since launching last month shows how big an issue insurance accessibility is for small businesses.
The inquiry has received more than 700 surveys completed by small businesses so far.
“The feedback we’ve had from small businesses so far has been insightful and concerning, with many small businesses claiming to have been denied insurance outright,” Ms Carnell said.
“This is particularly the case for many small businesses seeking public liability insurance, which is essential to continue their operations.
“We’ve heard from a number of small businesses that have been unable to get insurance for natural disasters.”
Ms Carnell also noted that cost has also emerged as a major issue, with many small businesses complaining their insurance premiums have doubled or even tripled in just a few years.
“Over the coming months, we will be investigating these claims and examining if small business insurance products are fit for purpose,” she said.
“Of serious concern has been the number of small businesses that have had their insurance policies substantially changed, reducing the level of coverage, without their consent and with no refund of premiums. Our inquiry will determine if these practices amount to unfair contract terms.”
The Insurance Inquiry will finish receiving surveys on 30 August. The final report is expected to be released in December.