Queensland flood reignites ‘confusion’ over policy coverage – Daily – Insurance News

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today meets with affected residents of flood-affected Inglewood, Queensland to discuss their “confusion” over how police can respond to flooding .

The policyholders’ session at the Inglewood Flood Recovery Center comes as ABC News reports that a number of businesses in the southern border town, whose premises were damaged by flooding last week, say they have insurance but are not covered against flooding.

The situation mirrors that of the Townsville flood disaster of 2019, when it emerged that many companies caught up in the disaster had not opted for flood coverage, triggering a torrent of criticism against insurers.

The CIA says it is aware of some confusion among policyholders regarding flood coverage in insurance.

“Many affected people in the Inglewood area are looking to understand their insurance policy and how it is responding to this severe weather event, as well as the next steps in the recovery process,” said the CEO of ICA , Andrew Hall.

“ICA representatives traveling to Inglewood from Brisbane will be available to provide general information on the complaints process. “

After the Brisbane floods in 2011, a standard definition of flooding was introduced in June 2012 that applies to home and content, small business and household insurance policies. Many companies are opting out of flood coverage because of the high premiums involved.

The ICA says the standard definition of flooding in Australia refers to the coverage of normally dry land with water that has escaped or been released from the normal boundaries of any lake, or river, stream. or other natural watercourse, whether or not it is altered or modified. , or any reservoir, canal or dam.

“Flood coverage is a standard policy inclusion, except where it is expressly stated that flood coverage is excluded, for example when an insurer clearly states that it does not cover floods, or when an insurer option is provided to “opt out” of flood coverage, “the ICA says.

In the ABC News report, one of the affected business owners in Inglewood said her insurer told her 11 years ago, when she opened her cafe, that she was not eligible for flood cover as it was in a flood prone area.

Another affected business operator said he was in constant contact with his insurer about coverage and confusion over what is covered, his property or his business.

A Queensland broker who does not have clients in Inglewood says he would be very surprised if his clients were not aware of their flood cover position.

“It’s a distinguished point of conversation that we have with every client,” the broker, who did not want to be named, told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Meanwhile, insurers say they have received claims and are responding to the situation.

A spokesperson for IAG said the insurer has so far received six claims for all of its brands following the Inglewood flood.

“We are still monitoring the weather at this point and continue to support all affected customers,” the spokesperson said.

Kahlee Ferguson, executive director of Suncorp Group Disaster Response, said the insurer’s customer support team is on the ground at the Inglewood Civic Center to help customers affected by the flooding.

“Suncorp Insurance, AAMI, Apia and Shannons clients can visit today and tomorrow between 9am and 4pm to speak face to face with our claims specialists,” said Ms. Ferguson.

“The team can help clients file a claim and make arrangements for emergency funds, temporary accommodation, and urgent repairs if needed.”

A spokesperson for Allianz said the insurer received around 20 claims as of 2 p.m. today.

“However, we expect more customers to file claims in the coming week as the floodwaters recede,” the spokesperson said.

“All complaints received by Allianz will be honored in accordance with the terms and conditions of our customers’ policy.

“Flood is optional coverage under Allianz home insurance policies and, in accordance with industry standard practice, small business and commercial policies.

“Flood damage is therefore not covered, unless a policyholder chooses to add flood coverage to their insurance policy and pay the corresponding additional premium. “

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said the insurer had 23 claims for Inglewood, with most of the claims filed for flooding in laundry rooms and sheds downstairs, with some members reporting stump movement. .

“We sent a real estate appraiser to Inglewood to assist the members,” Ms. Smith said.

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