Aged pensioner's flood insurance raised from $21 to $14,000
INSURANCE companies have come under fire for increasing flood premiums to exorbitant amounts, despite no change in local government flood risk data to justify the increases.
One Whiporie resident was shocked to learn her flood insurance premium had increased by more than $14,000 per year.
Dianne Daniel, who owns a home between Casino and Grafton, said she burst into laughter when she received her Allianz insurance policy in August and saw the flood cover had increased from $215.64 per year to $14,584.92 - more than a 6000% increase.
"Once I read it I just burst into laughter because I thought it was a computer error," she said.
"I rang them up and the first person I spoke to said, 'Yeah, that doesn't sound right'.
"He talked to supervisors and rang me back and said, 'Look I'm sorry, that's what it is'."
At $14,584.92, the cost of Ms Daniel's flood insurance has swelled to higher levels than the water ever could.
The figure seems even more astronomical when you consider Ms Daniel's flood insurance was a mere $21.80 two years ago.
"We're on the age pension, so even if we wanted to, there's no way known we could afford to pay that," she said.
Her neighbours, Nancy Lowery and Brian Phillips, who have lived in the area for more than 80 years, said there has never been a flood that would come close to affecting Ms Daniel's house.
The Insurance Council of Australia said many insurance companies rely on data from its National Flood Information Database to assess the flood risks to an individual property.
An ICA representative said the database coordinated flood information from state and local governments.
"Insurers base their pricing on factors and data each company deems appropriate," he said.
"Each insurer has its own method of calculating premiums based on a range of factors, including local government hazard data, historical data, claims frequency, risk and weather forecasts."