The insurance costs from the Queensland and New South Wales flooding have extended to an estimated $438 million, as the focus shifts to the clean up and future impact of this natural disaster. Tens of thousands of people have already made claims to insurance companies customer support teams.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia, an estimated 29,213 claims had been made, in regards to the floods, as of the end of March. More damage locations are being assessed as the conditions continue to ease and people return to their homes.
With the Bureau of Meteorology stating that no further flooding is projected, assessors have been visiting affected regions as soon as it is safe to do so. Although there has been cause for concern, in regards to flood insurance transparency in the terms and conditions and whether it has in fact been selected by those who are affected by the flooding. Including the sum insured for and the ability to cover the cost of damage and any business interruption.
The Federal Emergency Management Minister, David Littleproud has asked insurers to “show a little bit of humanity and have a social conscience to [the people affected by the floods]” when appearing on Sky News Sunday Agenda last week.
Also making a point to mention that “people entered into these contracts in good faith, and we would expect insurance companies to act in good faith”. Littleproud also sees this as a great opportunity for the insurance industry to improve their reputation amongst consumers.
Support teams have been deployed in flood affected areas and are assisting with the arrangement of emergency repairs as well as organising temporary accommodation for customers, according to Suncorp CEO Steve Johnson. Mr Johnson also commended the Federal Government’s swift response in urging state governments to insurance workers and tradespeople as essential workers.
Giving insurance workers as well as tradespeople the confidence to cross borders with the intention to support flood affected communities. They have also committed to getting customers back on their feet as soon as possible. Therefore it is incredibly important that assessors and repairers have access to these areas.
There has been additional support from NSW Land Registry Services who are making title searches, replacement Certificates of Title and plan images free for property owners affected by the flooding. These documents not only provide peace of mind to owners but also help landholders with insurance claims and development applications to council.
Disasters such as flooding are a good reminder to check your insurance cover in order to protect your business or home against adverse events. Craig at Business Insurance Consulting may be able to assist in finding the optimum cover when it comes to business or home and contents insurance cover.