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Insurance exemption to help industry, customers

21 September 2021ALRTA news

The trucking industry has secured an important exemption from new rules for add-on insurance that will help the industry and its customers.

The new rules prohibit the sale of add-on insurance for at least four days after a customer has purchased a product or service. But add-on transport and delivery insurance, including insurance for storage along the way, will be exempt.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) welcomed the confirmation of the exemption.

ATA CEO Michael Deegan said that the exemption was a win for common sense, and thanked Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for his consultation and listening to industry.

“Consumers need to be protected from unscrupulous businesses. At the same time, this must be achieved in a way that optimises choice, minimises red tape, and does not impede efficient freight flow or induce good businesses to take unnecessary risks,” Mr Deegan said.

“After considering the implications of restricted availability of add on insurance products, our members argued strongly for an exemption, and having sought sound legal advice, we also recommended that the draft exemption be extended to cover incidental storage that may occur as part of the transport task.

ALRTA Executive Director Mat Munro said the exemption accommodated the practical needs of the livestock supply chain.

“Our member carriers often move livestock at short notice and may need to unload and ‘spell’ animals during the journey to manage driver fatigue and animal welfare,” Mr Munro said.

“In these circumstances, carriers may require add-on transport and incidental storage insurance which must be arranged at the same time as accepting the load. Livestock sold under auction conditions is particularly problematic because neither the owner, value or destination are known prior to sale.

“This exemption will ensure that carriers are able to obtain add-on insurance quickly and easily. Choice is maintained and freight will not be delayed. When you are moving live animals, you simply cannot wait four days to acquire an appropriate add-on insurance product,” he said.

AFRA Executive Director Simone Hill said the regulations were a win for removals clients, and AFRA were pleased to see this practical and workable outcome.

“Moving can be a fraught experience, a time of upheaval and change. During a move, a client’s entire world of personal and household belongings is shipped from one place to another,” Ms Hill said.

“Should anything happen to those items due to disaster or mishap, it is imperative for a person’s financial and mental wellbeing that they are adequately insured.

“These regulations ensure moving clients can secure appropriate financial protection, and in turn peace of mind when moving,” she said.

The Australian Government is introducing what is called the deferred sales model in response to a recommendation of the Financial Services Royal Commission. The new rules come into force on 5 October 2021.

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