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  • #67918

      A trend has been noticed in USA for insurers to be picky about the risks they underwrite, with the result that homeowners in areas susceptible to hurricanes (like Florida) or bushfires (California) can’t get insurance. This is quite a different issue from the higher premiums which are to be expected for the higher risk. See, for example the Building Integrity channel on YouTube.

      Is this happening here in NSW? Our broker reports that four insurers “declined to quote” for our renewal this year. And one grudgingly refused to quote for one year but has insured us for six months. They’re putting pressure on us to accelerate our programme of window replacement which prima facie has nothing  to do with insurance. What’s going on? Do we need a government-run insurer to ensure that cover is always available?

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    • #67953

        You raise an important issue, but offer an unrealistic solution when you write: Do we need a government-run insurer to ensure that cover is always available?

        Who exactly do you think will carry the risk of a “government run insurer”? Hint: us taxpayers. Why should we? Does the government run businesses better than the private sector?

        Even if it did, why should taxpayers take up risks that private companies will not touch? You are right in indicating that reform is needed of how the insurance market works.  good place to start would be to break up the giant few who under an array of names run the industry like a club.

        In my experience, insurers may refuse to offer cover for many reasons, for instance, if some item(s) at the strata not attended to in a timely manner eg windows.

        But even that leaves you some room to wriggle. Your insurer may consider the state of your windows to be so poor and not worth taking a risk on eg they may fall out and hit someone which will give rise to a public liability claim.

        I would approach the matter in the following manner:

        (1) Ask the current insurer, “given the current state of the scheme,  just what will they cover and what will they not cover in a renewal” and look for another insurer for the balance of the items eg public liability insurance (I am not sure if such insurers exist, but this is what I would do); and

        (2) Ask the insurer ” please list what you want us to fix  and in what time frame”? If you, Chesswood, agree to that, ask the insurer if they would insure your scheme now, for all the risks in the policy just expired and make clear that you’ll undertake to address their concerns in the time frame they seek.

        Failure in (a) and (b) leaves you the option of finding another insurer, whose premiums are likely to be much higher.

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