Flood insurance going out of reach

FOR most people insurance is just a bill you have to deal with and for the Valley, floods are just something we live with.

However for people living in flood-affected areas, insuring against flood damage is now financially unfeasible.

Grafton resident Lisa Crispin was shocked when NRMA insurance informed her that her premium would be increasing four-fold.

Mrs Crispin and her husband Rob inherited their home in Elizabeth St from Rob's parents.

The Crispin family have owned the property since 1964 and it has not flooded once in that 48-year period.

However in the wake of the Queensland floods many insurance companies changed their actuarial and risk assessment processes.

The consequence was that many properties which no logical person would consider to be flood-affected suddenly saw a rapid increase in their premiums.

"How about you look at a topographical map before you make a blanket decision?" said Mrs Crispin in regards to the insurance companies that were undertaking this decision.

The Examiner contacted six insurance companies to see which of them had listed Mrs Crispin's property as needing a large amount of flood insurance.

We included a Lawrence property that is widely acknowledged to be vulnerable to flooding and a Seelands property that would require a flood of biblical proportions to be affected.

Some of the companies offered cover without the flood insur- ance, but for the Lawrence property the premiums still remained high, even if flood cover was not included.

Youi Insurance ruled out all of the properties we asked about.

They would not insure the Seelands property because it was on more than 20 acres of land and they would not insure the Grafton property or the property in Lawrence because they do not insure properties that are flood-affected.

Coles insurance produced the cheapest premium for Mrs Crispin's home but they refused to insure the other two for the same reasons.

With the lowest premium we could find from the six insurance companies on the Lawrence property coming in at $9977.34 a year, it seems highly unlikely that many people in that area would purchase flood cover.

Insurance premiums are the biggest household expenditure after power bills.

In flood affected areas flood cover is more expensive than general home and contents.

INSURANCE PRICES

Property One
SEELANDS RD, SEELANDS
Value: $280,000
Contents: $100,000
AAMI: $2218.80
GIO: $2464.77
Allianz: $1373.20
NRMA: $1252.35
Coles: N/A


Property Two
BRIDGE ST, LAWRENCE
Value: $300,000
Contents: $80,000
AAMI: $14,455.52
GIO: $11,174.24
Allianz: $16,883
NRMA: $9977.34
Coles: N/A


Property Three
ELIZABETH AVE, GRAFTON
Value: $240,000
Contents: $30,000
AAMI: $2222.87
GIO: $1586.83
Allianz: $2904.28
NRMA: $4961.80
Coles: $910



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