Flood levee in Rockhampton may ease insurance bills

IF Rockhampton follows in Roma's footsteps, up to a thousand residents and many businesses could be in for a significant reduction in insurance premiums.

"(It's been) reported earlier this month that thousands of residents were in for discounts from 30 to 80 per cent as Roma's levee building program starts," Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow said.

"We have been confident that a levee in South Rockhampton would have greatly beneficial effect on insurance premiums (see graphic), which for many home and business owners have become unaffordable.

"What is happening in Roma really demonstrates that where the risk is lowered insurance companies are willing to lower their premiums accordingly."

The Courier Mail reported Suncorp had given assurances that premiums would plunge by between 30 and 80 per cent upon the completion of the Roma levee, which was expected in January-February next year.

A Suncorp spokesperson said Suncorp fully supported any government investment in mitigation that reduced the risk of flood.

"We are committed to working with all levels of governments to revise premiums in any area where it can be evidenced that risk has been reduced," the spokesperson said.

"As with Roma we will only look at premium revisions once the mitigation is complete."

In Suncorp's 2012 annual report, Suncorp CEO Mark Milliner said Suncorp stopped accepting new customers in Roma and Emerald on the back of the repeated floods in the area.

"Recognising that insurance premiums were increasing significantly, and that many homes remain exposed to unacceptably high risks, Suncorp decided to stop accepting new customers in Roma and Emerald," Mr Milliner said.

"Our goal was to drive action around protecting Roma and Emerald against the costs, both economic and social, of repeated disaster."



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