Flood insurance hiked 1010%, ‘like another mortgage’

A GRAFTON resident is wondering if the insurance companies know something about flood prospects in the region we don't.

As the floodwaters receded in the Valley, Milton St resident Dan Firth received his policy renewal statement, notifying him of a 1010% hike in his premium.

Mr Firth was dumbfounded at the hike, as his house has not flooded since 1967, before the construction of the levee protecting the city, and angry at the tactics of the company, RACQ Insurance.

"Before the notice arrived the company called to give us the new quote," Mr Firth said.

"I told them to shove the quote and I would be going elsewhere.

"I was paying $126 a month and my new premium would have been $1230 a month. That's like having another mortgage."

Despite this exchange Mr Firth's insurance renewal arrived in the post on January 31.

"I went elsewhere and got insurance for the same amount, although without flood cover," he said.

"The thing that gets me is by doing this (sending out an unwanted renewal) there will be people out there uninsured because they won't be able to afford the premiums and unaware they can get cover without flood insurance."

Mr Firth said RACQ did not give him an option of a lower premium without flood insurance.

The RACQ representative did not offer any reason for the premium hike other than his house was now in a region designated as a flood zone.

An RACQ spokesperson, Gavin Watts, said after the 2011 floods in Queensland the company made a decision to include compulsory flood cover in all its policies.

He said the premiums were based on information gained from updated flood maps the company has put together since 2011.

"This is an area where there is some confusion," Mr Watts said.

"People look at council flood maps and see they are in an area that's not flood prone and believe their insurance premiums should be lower.

"But our maps are different to council maps, which are largely used to look at developments. Ours reflect risk assessment."

"Council maps have a one in 100 year flood, we're looking at one in 200 years," he said.

"The 2011 floods, particularly in Queensland, updated a lot of our information for us."

If you have a story to tell about rising house insurance premiums contact us on 6643 0500.

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