Cheryl Jones and Jackie Jensen need some community assistance in repairing their fence which was damaged in the 2013 floods.
Cheryl Jones and Jackie Jensen need some community assistance in repairing their fence which was damaged in the 2013 floods. Mike Knott BUN060718FENCE1

Could cheaper flood insurance premiums be on way for Bundy?

REGIONAL Queenslanders who take on mitigation measures to protect their homes should be awarded cheaper premiums, according to a new ACCC report.

An ongoing inquiry into northern Australian insurance recommends that insurance companies list the protection measures against floods and cyclones and how much these could subsidise premiums.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report does consider Bundaberg to be connected to the report's findings.

Consumers who have had to pay increased premiums since the 2011 and 2013 Bundaberg floods might find relief in premiums if they knew what actions they could take to protect their households and to reduce the costs.

Bundaberg floods January 2013
Photo: Peter Gray
Bundaberg floods January 2013. Picasa

"This will assist consumers to decide if the risk mitigation option is worth the upfront cost,” the report said.

It also recommended that insurers' quotes list what discounts have been applied to mitigation.

"This is important to help premium adjustments are comparable between insurers and transparent for consumers,” the report said.

"It also provides clarity to consumers and assists with evaluating investments in mitigation works.”

Bundaberg floods January 2013
Photo: Peter Gray
Bundaberg floods January 2013. Picasa

These are recommendations supported by Sure Insurance managing director Bradley Heath, who said insurers needed to be transparent in their quotes so that customers could see the financial benefits of mitigation.

Insurers should also be offering monthly repayments of premiums, and if they were charging extra to do so, should be making it clear that this is what they were doing.

"We've been aware of the issues in Bundaberg and other places so a lot of what we're doing is happening co-jointly with this inquiry and we're finding ourselves in very much agreement with many of the recommendations that are in there,” Mr Heath said.

"We're trying to address the key of the problems, which is affordability.”

Mr Heath said the Queensland insurance company, which recently began covering Bundaberg and further north in regional Queensland, could subsidise premiums by up to 30 per cent in terms of its flood insurance, and up to 45 per cent in cyclone insurance.

It looked at flood mitigation measures such as raised houses on stilts, backflow valves, and barrier protection.

"Sure, they have to do the mitigation works but I think everyone would probably agree it would be better not to be flooded than to be flooded, or not to lose their roof than to lose their roof,” Mr Heath said.

"We want to reward people who have taken that position if we can.”