Insurance rise hits North Burnett
THE North Burnett Regional Council has been dealt a blow by the insurance industry after its property premiums were recently increased by a staggering $100,000.
Mayor Joy Jensen said the council's insurance agency had increased the premium for communities north of the 26th parallel, which is 26 degrees latitude south of the equator and sits south of Maryborough.
"Overall, our premium for property insurance has increased by 65%," she said.
Cr Jensen said she was baffled by the increase because the council had never made "exorbitant claims", even during last year's flood event.
"The North Burnett is caught up in this classification of being a disaster zone," she said.
"(The insurance company) is levying this additional premium simply because of the location."
The mayor said if it had been just the one incident of $100,000, the council may have been able to cope and absorb the cost.
"But it's on top of all the other cuts we've had to our funding," she said.
"This is just the last straw."
And it's not just the insurance costs that have risen, as Cr Jensen said brokerage fees had also been bumped up by 5%.
Despite this, Cr Jensen said the premium increase would not be passed on to North Burnett ratepayers.
"We believe we have rated our community as much as we feel is appropriate - it's not possible to keep hitting the ratepayer. It's just not fair," she said.
Bundaberg Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the council's property insurance had increased, but nowhere near the extent of the North Burnett.
"It's certainly not $100,000," she said.
Cr Pyefinch said insurance premium prices differed between agencies and councils.
"This year was the first year our insurer required us to give a full inventory of our assets," she said.
The mayor said there would be no changes to the rating structure because of the insurance rise.