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Hard market like no other: in-depth feature examines unprecedented challenge

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Businesses and brokers are being hit by a hard market which is pricing some clients out of insurance altogether, and has been described as a “national crisis”.

insuranceNEWS.com.au today publishes a special feature podcast, examining the causes, effects and possible solutions.

Analysts and experts give their views on the market, which was hardening anyway before catastrophes and COVID combined to exacerbate the problem.

Business groups, such as the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, outline the difficulties they are facing, and brokers talk about the role they can play during such challenging conditions.

“In my experience in and around insurance for a reasonable period of time there have been periods where a particular product area, or a particular line of insurance was difficult,” National Insurance Brokers Association CEO Dallas Booth told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“We had a public liability crisis in the early 2000s, storm and flood issues in the early 2010s and so on.

“The challenge for the present time is that there is quite considerable challenge in most areas. It’s an across the board thing. I think that’s challenging for policy holders and it’s certainly challenging for brokers as well.

“The affordability issue is real for many clients, and brokers are having very hard conversations with clients about what they can afford to insure and what they might need to let go, and it becomes very distressing for brokers when they can see that a client might be left quite exposed in some manner.”

As insuranceNEWS.com.au has reported, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has urged immediate government intervention to address what she describes as “market failure”.

Ms Carnell has put forward 15 recommendations including extending the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation from its current terrorism focus to include natural catastrophe reinsurance, and the banning of broker conflicted remuneration.

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