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Homeowners "flabbergasted" with spiking insurance rates

TOM O'Dea wanted to reach for his antacid tablets when he received his latest house and contents insurance bill.

The Yeppoon beachfront resident remains "flabbergasted" as to why his home insurance premiums have increased by more than 110% over the past two years.

Last year his premium was $748. That has risen to $1266 this year.

In the past week The Morning Bulletin has received a number of complaints from residents around insurance premium hikes this year.

"Last year I had a 40% increase, no flooding, no cyclone and no claims whatsoever, but this year's 70% certainly takes the cake," Mr O'Dea told The Morning Bulletin.

"Of course we all realise the costs of Queensland floods particularly, has to be offset to some extent as insurers need to remain viable but it's flabbergasting to think their premiums can increase in the order of 110% over a two-year period.

"Then there's the little letter which comes with your renewal notice hailing the fact that you are now all covered for flooding and water runoff ... most of us will never be affected by either."

How to fight the hikes.

Sign the online petition protesting devastating insurance increases.

Go to www.change.org/queenslandinsurance

One Rockhampton man said the insurance for his $350,000 investment home at Emu Park had doubled from $900 to $1800.

The annual premium for his $550,000 North Rockhampton home had also jumped from $1800 to $2300.

"I questioned the insurer about both increases and they said it was due to increased flood and cyclone risk in the region," the man said.

"My Rocky house is on a hill and can't be flooded but I guess the Emu Park home is a legitimate cyclone risk. I am shopping around for a better deal."

Piranha Insurance broker Nathan Peirano said some insurance companies had hit their customers with flood cover, even if they weren't living in flood-prone areas.

He said the hikes were a result of a number of weather-related incidents around the country.

"Some insurance companies aren't increasing their premiums for cities and regional centres north of Bundaberg," said Mr Peirano.

"It has taken insurance companies about 18 months to decide how they would treat these disasters."

He advised customers to "shop around" with other home insurance providers.

RACQ Executive Manager Insurance Communications Mike Sopinski said all RACQ Insurance customers now had standard flood cover as part of their household insurance policy.

Topics:  cyclone emu park flood insurance premiums yeppoon



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