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Agency aims to plug region’s insurance gap, but won’t yet say how

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Underwriting agency Sure, which plans to enter the north Queensland market next month with underwriting capacity from Liberty Mutual, says it will provide details of its business nearer to its launch, with its approach to the cyclone-prone region set to be closely watched.

Sure’s website says it will provide home and contents cover in a region where “whole areas have been penalised, overcharged or flat-out dismissed” because of cyclone, flood and bushfire risks.

The insurer says it will examine specific risks for a home, including how it is built and what mitigation measures have been taken, as it focuses on ways policyholders can reduce premiums.

North Queensland insurance campaigner Margaret Shaw says cover for strata properties remains the major problem in the region, but a new home and contents insurer “would be a step in the right direction”, particularly amid uncertainty following the Townsville floods.

“To have someone take a deep breath and say we believe in the market, it has got areas that have been overpriced and, I would say, abandoned rather than dismissed, is exciting,” she told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“It looks like what they are actually going to do is risk assess, whereas quite often you find that risk is assumed, not properly assessed.”

A Liberty spokeswoman confirmed the company’s involvement, but declined further comment.

Former RACQ Insurance CEO Bradley Heath, who is listed as a director of the company on Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents, also declined to give further information.

Whether the offering is provided through brokers is not specified, while pricing and conditions will be looked at in detail when available.

“I am sure brokers in the area would welcome additional supply,” National Insurance Brokers Association CEO Dallas Booth said. “It will be interesting to see what the offering actually is and whether that makes sense for brokers and their clients.”

Sure says cyclone, flood and bushfire mitigation measures, such as window shutters, roof replacements, barrier protection and sprinkler systems, will be taken into account to reduce premiums.