Business owners seek overseas insurance

CLOSED DOORS: Insured flood victims crowed into the function room at the Waves club for an insurance forum. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
CLOSED DOORS: Insured flood victims crowed into the function room at the Waves club for an insurance forum. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds

BUNDABERG business owners desperate for flood insurance cover have sought solace with overseas insurance brokers as they fight to protect their businesses.

This comes as a community insurance forum organised by the Insurance Council of Australia attracted more than 180 people from Bundaberg and surrounding areas on Wednesday night, who were concerned about their insurance policies following the 2013 floods.

Media were banned from sitting in on the forum with an Insurance Council spokesman saying this was due to the confidential nature of the discussion.

Midtown Marinas general manager Jan Douglas, who did not attend the forum, said she felt compelled to seek insurance cover from a broker representing Lloyd's of London following her treatment after the 2011 floods.

"The insurance company took our money for business interruption, loss of income and fixture fittings and other things," she said.

"But when the time came to pay they said we aren't covered by flood and didn't pay."

She said she was financially hurt by this decision.

"We worked bloody hard to get back on our feet and that decision set us back," she said.

She was then approached by a Lloyd's of London broker and hasn't looked back.

"We got a quote which was less than what we were paying previously and insured us completely for floods," she said.

"They have been great so far and helped us pay our suppliers."

The insurance council's spokesman Campbell Fuller said if a business decided to seek foreign insurance they were well within their rights to do so in what was a highly competitive industry.

"There are 122 licensed insurers in Australia, including Lloyd's representatives, who make commercial decisions regarding policies and premiums," he said.

"Australian insurers will insure local businesses, but in areas with a high risk of flood and natural disasters, that will be reflected with the premiums."

South Bingera homeowner Doug Burns echoed the sentiments of many who attended the forum and was satisfied with the overall information provided but was disappointed that the media was not allowed in during the question and answer session.

"Why should it be a closed shop when these issues concern the whole community," he said.

"If the information was made available to the media then more people could have been helped by this."
reflected with the premiums."

Topics:  flood 2013 insurance

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