According to Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, the government needs to take action to ensure business owners can ac cess essential insurance products, highlighting that some insurance costs have tripled, pricing many small businesses – including salons – out of the market.

“Throughout the course of our inquiry, hundreds of small businesses told my office they face closure if insurance remains unavailable to them,” Ms Carnell says. “Our report recommends Australia follow the lead of New Zealand, which has applied statutory caps on liability for personal injury. We need a civil liability framework that actually works.”

Ms Carnell also suggests the government should implement the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to roll out a no-fault National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) to cover lifetime care for catastrophic injuries.

“It’s been nine years since the Productivity Commission released its Report into Disability Care and Support and yet the NIIS is still under consideration, much to the detriment of the small business sector,” she said. “Ultimately, the risk environment for public liability litigation can only change through government intervention and the current framework of fault-based injury compensation creates uncontrollable risks for insurers and small businesses.”

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