Residents urged to check out policies

COFFS Coast flood victims may be in for another disaster, with the Insurance Council of Australia confirming only one-third of insurance companies automatically cover flood damage.

Insurance Council of Australia general manager for policy and risk, Karl Sullivan, who was in Coffs Harbour yesterday for a Coffs Coast Recovery Committee meeting, said flood-ravaged residents need to check their policies and lodge a claim as soon as possible.

“Only 32 per cent of insurance companies automatically cover flood,” Mr Sullivan said.

“The difference between stormwater and floodwater varies from policy to policy and I urge people to check their policies to be exact.”

Mr Sullivan said independent hydrologists have been engaged by various insurers to investigate claims and he expects the first reports to come in after 10 days.

“Some areas are complicated and you can get a marked difference from property to property,” he said.

Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, has lobbied the State Government to provide its own independent hydrological study.

“We need a third umpire. The government provided hydrologists in 1996 and this is a similar event with similar results,” Mr Fraser said.

“The expertise is available right here in Coffs and government hydrologists would show if there are any discrepancies between the companies and the clients.”

Mr Sullivan said he did not expect insurers to stall on payments, while an insurance taskforce has been established to provide information to policy holders from the companies.



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