INSURER RACQ has decided to pay close to 250 flood-related insurance claims they had previously denied, according to both Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann.
The 247 claims were mainly for residents in the Ipswich area, and finalises over six long months of heartache and worry for the policy holders, who will now be able to get on with rebuilding their lives.
The decision not to pay was changed following the release of new data from Brisbane City Council about water flows following the floods.
“I’m very pleased and relieved with this outcome for the policy holders affected,” Mr Neumann said.
“It is appalling that is has taken so long and unfortunately there are still so many policy holders we are still working with.
“But this is still very good news for those 247 policy holders.”
The announcement from RACQ comes on the first day of hearings in the House of Representatives Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee Inquiry into the operation of the insurance industry during disasters.
Mr Neumann is currently in Western Australia touring disaster affected communities and taking submissions as part of the Inquiry.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia more than 99% of people making claims for loss and damage arising from the Queensland floods have now received an answer from their insurers.
Of the 99%, about 85% of claims have been accepted, with about 15% of claims refused.
Mr Shorten said he hoped this was the beginning of many more reassessments.
“While this is great news from RACQ, it is clear the rate of disputes for flood claims is unacceptably and substantially higher than for other natural disasters such as bushfires, cyclones and hailstorms,” Mr Shorten said.
“I therefore repeat my calls on the insurance industry to continue to work with the Government to deliver a standard definition of flood to ensure policy holders know where they stand and have confidence in the insurance product they are purchasing.”
Mr Neumann said the inquiry was long overdue but relied on policy holders to act.
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