Central Highlands property owners should see insurance drops

MANY property owners might see their property insurance premiums drop next year after a meeting between the Central Highlands Regional Council and the Insurance Council of Australia recently.

A report on the progress of the Emerald Flood Protection Scheme was presented by a representative from AECOM and a frank discussion was held around the proposed levee and how Emerald residents, in particular, might see a hip-pocket saving.

The mayor described the meeting as 'useful' and promised things were well on the way to sorting out a better way to determine premiums for the town.

"Apparently, because of the data available at the moment most people are considered at the maximum level of risk and premiums are based on where the property boundary is rather than whether the buildings will be affected, ' the mayor explained.

"The ICA has asked council to provide specific current and future flood model information detailing floor heights in a digital mapping format within the next two weeks to be entered into their system.

"This information is important because it helps insurers pinpoint the source of risk and the point of protection-basically whether your buildings are protected if your property floods.

"Within in the next six months, this data is made available to and studied by insurer groups that use it to assess risk and therefore set premiums.

"The ICA was confident that residents could expect premiums to fall by up to thirty percent-although cautioned the figure may be higher or lower depending on individual circumstances.

"They also indicated that, when the levees are in place, most of the town would see insurance savings," the mayor said.

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