Household insurance premiums have risen almost 30 per cent in the first half of 2010 due to harsh storms and the Victorian bushfires.
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) said a survey of its insurance brokers showed most had seen an increase in premiums of between 10 and 30 per cent on policies such as home and car insurance in the first six months of the year. NIBA represents about 500 firms and more than 2,600 intermediaries that handle $10 billion in premiums annually and place around half of Australia’s total insurance business.
NIBA’s chief executive Noel Pettersen said increases in domestic premiums were a result of a series of natural disasters in the past 18 months and were “expected following the significant losses underwriters have experienced.”
They included claims totalling more than $1 billion for each of the Victorian bushfires in February 2009 and the severe storms in Melbourne and Perth in March this year.
Insurance premiums for businesses posted more modest rises, with most brokers reporting increases of between one and nine per cent on policies such as public liability, business interruption, commercial property and product liability.
“The modest increases across commercial lines indicate prudent underwriting of risks over the last 12 months and strong competition amongst underwriters.”
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