The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, says there has been an overwhelming public response to the Insurance Inquiry following concerns of a growing number of complaints from small businesses who have either been denied insurance or priced out of the market.
“My office has already received over 150 survey responses and a number of submissions in relation to this inquiry and we anticipate that number to grow,” Ms Carnell said.
“While we are only in the early stages of the inquiry, it is clear the small-business community supports the work we are doing in this area.”
Ms Carnell said that, over the coming months, the office will be investigating the practices of the insurance industry that impact small businesses and examining whether small-business insurance products are fit for purpose.
“I’m particularly concerned about a number of cases where small businesses with current insurance policies have been subjected to major changes that have reduced their coverage without their consent, and with no refund of premiums. Our inquiry will look at this in more detail and consider if these practices amount to unfair contract term,” she said.
“We remain very keen to hear from small and family businesses that have faced difficulties with their insurance provider.”
The final report is expected to be released in December.