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Suncorp rethinks premiums in Qld's flood-prone towns

By Chrissy Arthur, Monday April 22, 2013 - 11:24 EST

Insurance company Suncorp says it will review premiums in south-west Queensland towns where councils have invested in new flood mitigation works.

Representatives have inspected a $14 million scheme to divert Bradley's Gully in Charleville, south-east of Longreach.

The scheme is almost completed and will work in conjunction with a levee on the Warrego River to protect the town.

Suncorp spokesman Marcus Taylor says premiums should be reduced to reflect a reduction in flood risk.

"Where the investment is made in actually reducing flood risk, particularly in high-risk communities where there has been ongoing flooding, we would reprice and ensure that premiums were actually reduced to reflect a reduction in flood risk," he said.

Mr Taylor says the average Charleville premium is already lower due to earlier flood schemes, but the aim is to reprice policies when mitigation works are completed.

He says Suncorp representatives have also had discussions with the Maranoa Regional Council about a scheme planned for Roma in southern inland Queensland.

"Yesterday we were down in Roma and they are about to start mitigation work," he said.

"Prior to that actually being finished, the average premium is around about $3,400 in Roma - in Charleville it is $1,200.

"What we actually want to do is see that come down again where possible, based on the full investment being placed into mitigation."

Mr Taylor says he is worried about the "affordability" of insurance after recent years of natural disasters in Queensland.

"We are definitely seeing a change in the way people insure," he said.

"People are obviously taking a lot more time now to investigate what their policy entails, and they may be increasing their excesses to actually keep their premiums lower as well.

"We don't want people to be under-insured, or not insuring - affordability of insurance is a big issue which is what we're quite concerned about."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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