Marcia bites again: 175% insurance premium hike

WHAT THE? Berserker home owner Susanne Young reacts in outrage to the surprise she received from Suncorp Insurance. Susanne’s home insurance premium had increased by a staggering 175% this year. INSET: More than 1500 homes were damaged in Tropical Cyclone Marcia across the Rockhampton and Livingstone regions.
WHAT THE? Berserker home owner Susanne Young reacts in outrage to the surprise she received from Suncorp Insurance. Susanne’s home insurance premium had increased by a staggering 175% this year. INSET: More than 1500 homes were damaged in Tropical Cyclone Marcia across the Rockhampton and Livingstone regions. Chris Ison Rokcinsurance

WHEN she peeled open the Suncorp envelope and pulled out her home insurance renewal letter, Berserker's Susanne Young was stunned.

Suncorp is her home insurance company, and she had been more than pleased with their help when she took out a claim for damages to her house during Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

She lodged an insurance claim for damages to her roof, ceiling, gate and a fuse in her kitchen. She did not know the total cost for those repairs.

Things then took a turn on Monday this week when she opened her latest renewal notice from Suncorp saying her annual premium had gone up a staggering 175%.

The premium had jumped from about $1700 last year to $4700 this year.

When Susanne touched base with Suncorp about the "outrageous" increase, she claimed a company representative said the premium had gone up due to a reassessment of "natural risks" in this region.

She told The Morning Bulletin she wondered if other customers, or Rockhampton residents, had received premium increases of this magnitude.

Susanne wanted an explanation as to why the "natural risk assessment" of the area caused the premium increase, when the region was already prone to natural weather events like cyclones.

A 37-year long Suncorp customer, Susanne was considering "shopping" around for another insurance provider because she could not afford to pay this year's premium.

In the aftermath of Cyclone Marcia, Susanne had no problems dealing with the national insurance company, saying the telephone operators she spoke to were helpful and accommodating.

"It's just phenomenal... a $3000 rise is just outrageous," she said.

Susanne yesterday spoke to a neighbour who told her that his insurance premium was the same as last year.

She wanted to know if the insurance premium had gone up due to the home insurance claim she made after the cyclone.

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Topics:  cyclone marcia editors picks insurance money suncorp

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