Companies respond after reports focus on ‘side hustle’ policies – Daily – Insurance News

Insurers have responded to media reports of homes and contents being liquidated or claims being denied because customers were running small businesses that generate income or entertainment from their properties.

In some cases cited in the ABC News story, consumers say they were informed by their insurers that their policies would be canceled because of the risk.

Major insurers Suncorp and Allianz have revealed how to deal with home and contents insurance issues.

“It is important that our customers have the right cover for their property – and we encourage anyone who is unsure to contact us to explain how the policy can be used,” a Suncorp AAMI spokesperson told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Like all personal insurance, our home insurance is underwritten and priced based on the risk of the home.”

The spokesman says that if the business ends at home, it could represent a different “risk”.

“For example, a manufacturing or maintenance business that is based at home can be a very different risk from fire, similarly if the business’s valuables are stored at home it can represent an increased risk of theft,” said the spokesperson.

“Also, any business that has employees or customers who come home can attract the risk of potential slips and trips – which cannot be dealt with in the same way under common law.”

GT Insurance Brokers CEO Glenn Thomas says he is concerned about the company’s performance as he has some clients who have had their home and contents insurance policies turned down because they are making less money from interests.

He said one of his clients, an 80-year-old who sells the extra eggs he gets from his chickens to his caretaker, decided to stop doing so after his insurance said his policy would continue with the project.

The pensioner earns $5 by selling five eggs to a babysitter and uses the money to buy chicken feed, he said.

“I truly believe that insurers want to protect their customers,” Thomas said. “But it begs the question ‘what happens if a consumer is selling their children’s clothes on Facebook Marketplace or eBay all the time?’.”

He added that the article “re-emphasises the complexities of insurance even for what is known as a simple house and its contents and that customers should contact an insurance specialist to help them with what can be difficult”.

An Allianz spokesman says the insurer relies on the “accuracy and honesty” of policyholder responses to ensure they have the right insurance for their circumstances.

“Regardless of the type of cover, policyholders must meet the disclosure requirements when accepting, changing or renewing insurance,” the spokesperson said.

“In order to do this, Allianz encourages policyholders to answer all questions as accurately as possible. If you are unsure about questions or information, Allianz encourages customers to call us to confirm that they are covered and that the right insurance is available.”

Consumer Action Law Center managing attorney Philippa Heir said that as disputes increase and the cost of living increases, people will try to increase their income by using these means.

“If someone unknowingly fails to let the insurer know about something that could not have happened, that would not be a breach of duty,” he said, referring to the responsibility that has been changed for consumers to make sure they don’t make false claims.

“In fact, this is the real basis of the reformed work. Insurers also need clear evidence that they would not have used the consumer, if they want to avoid the process.”