News

$10,000 a year to insure home against floods

WATER TORTURE: Helen Hearnshaw, on the balcony of her house high above the Grafton levy, is trying to work out how she can avoid a huge insurance increase that would take her annual premiums to almost $10,000.
WATER TORTURE: Helen Hearnshaw, on the balcony of her house high above the Grafton levy, is trying to work out how she can avoid a huge insurance increase that would take her annual premiums to almost $10,000.

THE prospect of paying $250,000 in insurance premiums over the next 25 years for her Grafton home has Helen Hearnshaw scrambling to find different options.

Mrs Hearnshaw, who lives in Miller St, saw her home premium go from $1711 to $9600 in April when her insurer made flood cover mandatory.

"I am one of the lucky Grafton people who own a lovely place to live and retire. At nearly $10,000 a year I don't know how I can afford to pay it for another maybe 25 years of my life - a quarter of a million dollars."

The general manager of Westlawn Insurance Brokers, Chris Dougherty said many people are likely to face the same problem.

He said insurers were coming off a period of natural disasters, where the industry had to pay out billions in claims.

"It went from earthquakes in New Zealand, fires in Western Australia, floods in Brisbane and NSW, cyclones in North Queensland and storms in Victoria," he said.

"Thankfully that's stabilised over the past 12-18 months, but insurance companies took a big hit and they're looking at ways to get their money

back and minimise their exposure."

Mr Dougherty said this included putting insurance out of reach of customers.

"Putting their prices up so high people can't afford them, they're really saying they don't want to be in that market."

Mrs Hearnshaw found this out about 18 months ago, when she renewed insurance on an investment property in Prince St.

"The bill went from about $2000 to $8000 overnight," she said.

"I rang around heaps of companies and eventually found a company who would give me a policy without flood cover."

The latest bill shock prompted Mrs Hearnshaw to take a different look.

"To give such an enormous amount every year to a company on the chance that the flood wall breaks is untenable," she said.

"I have had an estimate that I would need about $60,000 to do repairs if the flood went through the ground floor of the house."

She is also looking at a policy with $5000 excess, which lowers premiums to an acceptable level.

"I would have to put $5000 away somewhere to draw on if I needed it, but it makes the premiums affordable."

Topics:  editors picks flood grafton insurance



Indigenous mothers and babies to benefit from grant

WORKING TOGETHER: Federal MP Kevin Hogan and Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation CEO Scott Monaghan discuss funding at the Grafton clinic.

Govt grant to provide better indigenous health outcomes for Valley

Optus commits $5.3M to improve Valley network coverage

Map of Grafton's Optus towers and proposed towers

Planning underway to build six new mobile internet sites

WATCH: Extreme idiocy on Lismore roads

This P plater was caught on dashcam going at ridiculous speeds.

Not once but twice, an L-plater had to endure shocking driving

Local Partners

Optus commits $5.3M to improve Valley network coverage

"PLANNING is underway to build sites at Waterview Heights, Yamba West, Angourie, Brooms Head, Nymboida and Palmers Island."


Neil Finn to headline Bluesfest

Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame, will play in Byron Bay with his wife Sharon and their band The Pyjama Club on June 11.

DON'T dream, it's not over, Neil Finn to hit the stage

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Novel with lots of heart

Be transported to another world with A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

Neil Finn to headline Bluesfest

Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame, will play in Byron Bay with his wife Sharon and their band The Pyjama Club on June 11.

DON'T dream, it's not over, Neil Finn to hit the stage

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Houses selling like hot cakes

HIGH DEMAND: Maclean Valley 2 Coast principal Ingrid Nott.

Valley's housing market pushed by supply shortage and jobs growth

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!