OPINION: Insurance companies have some explaining to do

INSURANCE companies have a bit of explaining to do about the cost of flood premiums.

Yesterday, The Northern Star reported on Whiporie resident Dianne Daniel, whose flood insurance increased from $21.80 to $14,584.92 in just two years.

It seems the areas they deem as a flood risk has changed and yet their information seems to contradict data gathered by local councils.

It's clearly a change that has been felt throughout the region as we have had several letters, phone calls and comments about this issue. Insurance premiums are just one household bill that ordinary families are struggling to keep up with.

A special investigation found 34% of - or 47,374 - families in the Lismore, Byron Bay, Ballina, Richmond Valley and Kyogle areas were unable to raise $2000 cash in a week to cover a crisis.

And of the region's 140,353 residents, 44,049 people relied on government incomes to survive over the past two years.

I don't know about you, but if I had to scrape together $2000 in a week I would have to go further in debt or borrow from a family member.

Costs of living pressures are putting an enormous strain on our area, which has lower than usual wages and a high unemployment rate.

In the lead up to Christmas, it's a time of year where money seems to be flowing out faster than it comes in. It's a time to be tight with your spending and prudent in paying bills.