Flood insurance improvement welcome but long overdue
Call to speed up consultations before more floods
CHOICE says proposed improvements to flood insurance cover, including standard definitions of ‘flood’ and clearer disclosure of key facts, are long overdue steps to improving home insurance.
The consumer group says it trusts stakeholder consultations over vital initiatives, such as mandatory flood cover issues and affordable policies for those at high risk, will not be unnecessarily protracted.
The federal government has released its response to the Natural Disaster Insurance Review, which was commissioned after last summer’s floods.
CHOICE gave the insurance industry one of its Shonky awards in late October for poor customer service and confusing English and definitions which left many Australians without cover for their biggest asset.
“The insurance industry must have known about some of these problems long ago but never got around to fix it. Now the government has intervened we trust the industry will stop dragging the chain and get serious about reforms which benefit consumers,” said Christopher Zinn, director of campaigns & communications at CHOICE.
In a submission to the review, consumer bodies argued for a number of reforms to increase both the availability and affordability of flood cover which are now subject to further consultations.
“It is important that the energy of the review is maintained in pushing forward the changes that are needed to develop a competitive and transparent insurance industry that is in the best interests of its customers,” said Zinn.
“While issues such as under-insurance and affordability are complex, CHOICE wants standard definition, strengthened internal claims handling and complaints resolution to be in place ahead of the summer flood and cyclone season so consumers don’t continue to be disadvantaged by old practices.”
Christopher Zinn, CHOICE, Director of campaigns & communications: 0425 296 442