RESIDENT Rob Kirgan of Riverstone is hopping mad about some insurance companies for using the floods in Queensland and NSW to raise his home insurance premiums.
He dumped NRMA Insurance after 39 years when it raised his home and content coverage premium at Kings Street by $4528 — from $1600 to $6149 a year.
Mr Kirgan contacted the Insurance Council of Australia, which recommended four other companies. An insurer he contacted earlier wanted a yearly premium for $8000.
He was able to find another insurer that offered a more reasonable premium of $2400 — a rise of $800.
‘‘We know they have to raise their premiums because of what happened elsewhere but not to an unreasonable rate,’’ Mr Kirgan said.
He said his extra premium did not include special cover for flood damage.
‘‘Several house owners in my neighbourhood also told me they also have the same problem and at least two have put up their houses for sale,’’ he said. ‘‘I am disgusted, as my area has never been affected by flood water during my eight years stay including when parts of Riverstone and Schofields was under water.
‘‘My house complied with council’s building regulations and was specially built to withstand two metres of flood water and is at the same level as the railway line about 200 metres away.
‘‘It is some distance from west of the railway line where there is flood risk.’’
An NRMA Insurance spokeswoman said the premiums offered to customers were based on the assessment and analysis of the risk their individual property has to a range of events.
‘‘To develop a complete picture of a customer’s risk, we use various data sources available at the time of a customer’s renewal,’’ she said.
‘‘This includes council data where available, state and federal mapping, terrain and watercourse mapping and insurance information.
‘‘Mr Kirgan has received a significant increase to his home and contents premium following our reassessment of his property’s risk to stormwater run-off. Stormwater run-off is when a storm in the customer’s local area causes sudden, excessive run-off of water, causing damage to the customer’s property.’’