Insurance rip-off: Whole of the Tweed deemed flood prone

TWEED residents have been ripped off after the entire shire was incorrectly ruled to be a high flood risk.

The council's acting general manager Troy Green revealed the blunder at a business meeting this week.

"What we learnt was the Insurance Council of Australia had put a blanket high risk across the shire," Mr Green said.

Tweed Shire Council, councillor Phil Youngblutt and Lismore MP Thomas George had raised the alarm about the Insurance Council of Australia's inaccurate modelling of the Tweed.

While parts of the Tweed are no stranger to flooding, with the most recent in late January this year, much of the Tweed remains high and dry.

Mr Green said council provided the Insurance Council with the correct modelling for its National Flood Information Database.

"Thomas George and councillor Youngblutthave advocated strongly to the Insurance Council of Australia with regards to the premiums that many businesses and many local people have been paying this year with respect to flooding," he said.

"We've provided new modelling and you should see that translates into lower premiums if you're not actually in one of the high-risk flood areas."

Home and business insurance premiums are expected to drop within weeks.

"That's (new modelling) going to affect and benefit many people, so we've provided all that new data," he told the Tweed Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

An Insurance Council spokesman confirmed Tweed Shire Council had provided the new data.

"The ICA relies on flood mapping information being provided to it by local councils," he said.

"This information is then added to the National Flood Information Database."

The Insurance Council said the database was funded by the general insurance industry and provides "in-depth information of flood risk to individual properties".

"Premiums are set by individual insurers according to their own criteria and commercial decisions," the spokesman said.

State MP for Lismore Thomas George said residents from Murwillumbah, in his electorate, indicated their premiums had increased, prompting him to approach Tweed Council.

Mr George said Tweed residents with properties in "non-flood areas" should notice lower premiums in "weeks or days".

The flood mapping was introduced last year and at the time Insurance Law Council principal solicitor Katherine Lane warned, in a Fairfax Media article, it would lead to inflated premiums.

"I think it's really good that we're going to do that mapping but it will lead to strange results with the pricing … Let's not let them use flood mapping as an excuse not to ensure people have got coverage."

Did your premium rise? Let us know. Phone 07 5523 6247.



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