Suncorp Insurance has left residents of Emerald and Roma in the lurch after it announced it would refuse all new insurance policies to householders in the region. No other insurers offer policies in the area. The small Queensland towns were hit hard by floods in recent years. Suncorp said on May 7 no new policies for home and contents insurance would be offered until flood mitigation works, including flood levees, are built around the two towns. Premiums for existing policy holders are due to rise dramatically.
At an insurance public forum attended by more than 150 people in Ipswich on April 5, victims of the Brisbane floods of early January shouted, sobbed and pleaded for help from elected council and federal representatives, and the head of the Insurance Council of Australia, Rob Whelan. Despite promises of insurance industry reform from assistant federal treasurer Bill Shorten, residents were angry at the lack of response from many insurance companies to their claims, 11 weeks after the floods that devastated big areas of Ipswich and Brisbane.
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