‘Flood risk’ reason for Susanne's insurance premium hike
ROCKHAMPTON cyclone victim Susanne Young was left dumbfounded yesterday when she heard that flood risks were the reason behind her sharp insurance premium rise.
Mrs Young had thought the 175% jump in her home and contents insurance to a whopping $4700 was related to her damages claim from the Cyclone Marcia disaster in February.
But Suncorp Insurance's Josh Cooney, responding to Mrs Young's story in yesterday's Morning Bulletin, said the rise could be attributed to new flood data received this year.
"In early February 2015 - prior to Tropical Cyclone Marcia - Suncorp Insurance conducted a reassessment of its risk ratings in the Rockhampton region due to new flood data becoming available," he said.
"The recent repricing in the Rockhampton area was not done as a result of Tropical Cyclone Marcia, and customers' premiums are not typically impacted by individual claims."
But Mrs Young said Suncorp had got it wrong in relation to her property's flood risk. "We do not flood here and we will not flood here," she said.
She was adamant that Suncorp had not mentioned flooding to her during her negotiations with them.
She said Suncorp informed her that the price hike for her Berserker home was due to a "reassessment of the natural risk to the area".
Mr Cooney said changes to risk ratings and insurance pricing in the Rockhampton region supported Suncorp's case for "mitigation and risk reduction over recovery".
He said premiums had been reduced by 80% in other areas of the country where the decision had been made to deliver improved mitigation infrastructure.
"We are making the same commitment to the people of Rockhampton - where risk is reduced, the cost of insurance will follow," he said.
"We understand the cost of insurance can be a significant expense, particularly in vulnerable locations where high risk is left unchecked and unaddressed. However, our premiums must reflect the cost of this risk."
The Morning Bulletin has approached Rockhampton Regional Council for comment regarding Suncorp's changes to its flood risk assessments in Rockhampton.