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Church faces huge insurance hike

As part of a nationwide trend, Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese reports that its public liability insurance premiums for for schools, parishes and agencies are likely to double next year as the Church's insurer faces the worst year in its history.

Rises of up to 35% are also predicted for church property insurance policy-holders with Catholic Church Insurances.

In a message sent to clients, CCI general manager Mr Peter Rush described it as "a difficult period for the insurance industry and for this company", however he affirmed the company's commitment to providing ongoing security to the Catholic community.

Archdiocesan business manager Mr Bob Smeaton said the master public liability insurance policy taken out by the Archdiocese cost in excess of $500,000 for the current year. This was shared between the Catholic Education Office, welfare and aged care agencies and parishes.

In a double-whammy for clients, CCI next January will not be able to provide rebates to policy-holders and premium payers as it normally does.

Mr Rush said CCI investment returns had been poor over the past 12 to 24 months and had not supported the underwriting operations to previous levels. Despite this, returns continued to be well above insurance industry and funds managers' averages.

"We have experienced a significant increase in the cost of reinsurance and a restriction in the capacity available especially from well-rated reinsurers," he told Catholic Voice. "We are now unable to purchase reinsurance protection down to previously available levels. This means we must retain more claims to our own account rather than pass them to reinsurers."

Catholic Voice

Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn
Catholic Church Insurances

1 Nov 2002