Townsville Enterprise today submitted letters to Queensland State Treasurer, Jackie Trad, Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg and Federal Assistant Treasurer, Stuart Robert, calling for government support on addressing the insurance claims process currently impacting our community's flood recovery. This follows raising the issue with all local members earlier this week. Whilst we understand there are a number of insurers doing the right thing by the community, we also need to acknowledge that there are serious concerns currently being tabled by small businesses.
Townsville has been through a significant natural disaster and whilst the flood waters are receding, the clean up and rebuilding process has only just begun. The role of insurance providers is at the forefront of how quickly and effectively this process will be undertaken.
To date, we have had a number of concerns raised with us in regard to ambiguity of business insurance policies, the role of brokers in the finalisation of insurance policies and a lack of clarity over various inclusions, including flood protection. We have been discussing this issue with insurance companies to further investigate these claims and have secured a meeting with the Insurance Council to raise these concerns on behalf of the business community.
After the Brisbane floods and following the Natural Disaster Insurance Review in 2012 new laws were introduced to make sure all insurers adopted a standard definition of what a flood is. Our understanding is that for home owners any damage experienced by water released from the Ross River Dam is covered as part of their home policy. This should surely be extended to include business owners. In addition, the Natural Disaster Insurance Review also noted the importance of making flood cover standard in small business policies. This should be revisited by governments.
Extraordinary events require extraordinary responses and with businesses, in particular small to medium enterprises, being the lifeblood of our community, we are seeking government support in assisting all parties to come to a solution that will accelerate our disaster recovery.