Suncorp get tough on Flood prone areas

After Suncorp scored a Public Relations coup with their fanatastic response last year on providing automatic Flood cover in their policyholder’s House and Contents insurance, including featuring real life testamonials in their advertising, reality has hit home.

They have now announced that new Home and Contents policies will not be offered in Emerald and Roma. These have been two of the towns worst affected by recent years of flooding

Their existing policyholders face hikes of up to 10-fold.

Suncorp has a very good reputation for being the only insurer left in country towns abandoned by other insurers who are wary of potential massive payouts.

Suncorp chief executive Mark Milliner said Queensland’s biggest insurer only received $4 million in premiums in Emerald and Roma in the past two years but had paid out $150 million in claims.

Residents in southeast Queensland have already been hit with premium hikes after the January 2011 floods but Suncorp said it had no plan to spread its ban to the state’s southeast because those floods were a one-in-100-years event.

Mr Milliner said it was likely the premium hikes in Roma and Emerald would “rise dramatically” and be “too expensive for many”, leaving residents choosing to become uninsured without contents cover, which also provides protection for theft and other risks such as Fire.

“Many insurance companies have already made the conscious decision not to offer insurance in very high-risk areas. This is a move Suncorp has so far resisted,” he said.