The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has been inundated with complaints from business owners on the ill-treatment they have received from major insurance companies.
Carnell says her office has received an avalanche of complaints from business owners since launching her Insurance Inquiry last week into the practices of insurance companies.
“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,” Carnell says. “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.”
Carnell’s office launched the inquiry following a growing number of complaints from small business owners who have either been denied insurance or priced out of the market.
“Over the coming months, we will be investigating the practices of the insurance industry that impact small businesses and examining whether small business insurance products are fit for purpose,” Ms Carnell says.
“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 Terms.
“We remain very keen to hear from small and family businesses that have faced difficulties with their insurance provider.
“We also welcome submissions from industry stakeholders, which can be emailed to email@example.com 21 August, 2020.”
The ombudsman will release a final report with her findings and recommendations in December.
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