This article is from the July 1 issue of The Townsville Bulletin Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit https://townsvillebulletin.digitaleditions.com.au/.

TONY RAGGATT

A QUEENSLAND insurer is promising to deliver fairness and affordability to North Queensland’s expensive strata property insurance market.

Brisbane-based Sure Insurance , underwritten by US based Liberty, launched in the residential home and contents market last year after identifying an opportunity to service regional Queenslanders paying the highest premiums in the country. Now it is looking to expand into the strata residential unit market.

Sure managing director Bradley Heath said the company wanted to help combat a worsening residential strata insurance affordability crisis in North Queensland.

“Sure Insurance understands this crisis has presented unprecedented challenges to body corporates and lot owners across the regions – especially those in North and Far North Queensland,” he said.

Consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has found strata insurance premiums in northern Australia are the highest in the country.

The average strata premiums in North Queensland in 2018-19 , at $6800, were more than twice the average for the rest of Australia.

Meanwhile strata property owners paid $64.6 million in State Government stamp duty.

The ACCC has described “an unusual competitive dynamic” where insurers manage exposure by increasing premiums to lose customers, or by no longer selling or renewing policies in certain areas.

Mr Heath said Sure was ready to step in and assist.

Insurance advocate Margaret Shaw said Sure’s move was welcome.

“It’s nice to know somebody is looking at the market and has some faith in North Queensland rather than other insurers who are getting out,” Ms Shaw said.

Sure’s strata policy is available from authorised brokers, listed on its website.

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