Ministerial Summit on Public Liability Insurance
Tuesday, 2nd April 2002 at 1:04 pm
By now some of the dust will have settled from last week’s Ministerial Summit on Public Liability Insurance, and amidst the accusers and problem solvers many ideas were canvassed for some short and long term relief!
Among the many groups pushing for change particularly to assist many hundreds of Not for Profits organisations, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) recommended that insurance companies be made to explain exactly why premiums have increased.
The consumer watchdog’s boss, Alan Fels told the Summit that customers should be told why prices had risen so that they could make informed decisions about their insurance.
The aim of the Summit was to reach a common position on legal changes needed to reduce high premiums that have forced many organisations to close or cancel their community and sporting events.
The Democrats leader, Natasha Stott Despoja called on the Federal Government to scrap stamp duties on insurance policies which would immediately reduce premiums by ten percent.
In the short term, some states led by Victoria advocated pooling arrangements between many Not for Profits whereby they would use their grouped buying power for better rates.
Lawyers, terrorism and the collapse of HIH were some of the reasons put to the Summit for the often-spiralling premium increases.
The Federal Assistant Treasurer, Senator Helen Coonan who chaired the meeting described the Summit as a way of sharing ideas on how to make PLI more affordable or available.
However she warned community groups not to expect premiums to tumble after last week’s meeting!
She advised that short-term initiatives are more likely to involve pooling arrangements and group cover to assist smaller charities.
The NSW government offered a 14 point plan to amend common law and the Queensland Law Society told the Summit that a resolution needed to be made with a spirit of co-operation between stakeholders and a willingness to find solutions that benefit the community.
But the responsibility for finding workable solutions should be determined at State level through a consultative process involving state government, stake- holders and the community.
If you or your organisation were involved in the Summit why not share your thoughts with other Not for Profits. Join our on-line Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.