Floods destroyed almost everything, leaving behind broken possessions and destroyed dreams.
Floods destroyed almost everything, leaving behind broken possessions and destroyed dreams.

Rogue insurers must be called to account

NOW is the time to tell the powers-that-be any problems you may have had with your insurer.

The second sitting of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry is scheduled for September 29 in Emerald, and is calling for residents to detail what went right, or wrong, with insurance claims lodged following the devastating floods earlier this year.

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire has urged all residents to contact the inquiry about their experiences, either good or bad.

“This is a subject that continues to be raised with me right across the region,” he said.

“I know that there would be many residents who would have very valuable information around these topics, and hope that they take this opportunity to have their say and hopefully make a difference for the future.”

But the controversial definition of a flood is beyond the scope of the commission.

The inquiry is calling for details and information about which insurance companies processed claims in a timely manner, and for those that didn’t.

If your insurer failed to keep you informed, the inquiry is calling for your submission, as well as any insurance agency that either did or didn’t communicate with its customers.

Of particular note is the call for information on insurers who may have “inappropriately dissuaded” customers from lodging a claim.

The Central Highlands chair of the Flood Recovery Group joined Cr Maguire in his calls for residents to lodge their submissions.

“This really has been something that became apparent after the 2008 flood, and we as a council and community tried very hard at that time to get the Insurance Council of Australia to listen to our concerns and make changes,” Cr Kerry Hayes said.

“Some insurance companies, have been very good, and the Flood Commission probably needs to hear that too.

“But we should also be letting them know, through the personal experiences of the people in our communities, that there is plenty of room for improvement.”

There are currently a number of flood insurance reviews taking place throughout the country, including the Commonwealth National Disaster Insurance Review targeting the “systemic questions of how disaster insurance should operate”.

The Commonwealth Treasury review published its consultation paper in May relating to the consultation on proposed reforms to insurance policies.

A House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is also examining the conduct of the insurance industry in assessing flood claims, and differs from the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry by covering all natural disasters rather than focusing on floods.

The Queensland Commission contact details are 1300 309 634 or email at info@floodcommission.qld.gov.au.

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