A federal inquiry into disaster insurance has been told that flood-affected communities in Brisbane are getting the run-around from insurance companies.

Some community members say there should be tighter regulations on the sale of insurance policies.

Emilie Gramenz reports.


A Federal Parliamentary committee listened to tearful accounts of how flood affected residents in Brisbane are battling with insurance companies over flood claims.

The public hearing at Graceville State School was part of a national inquiry into insurance payouts for natural disaster claims.

The inquiry was told fine print and vague definitions have left homes and businesses without enough insurance to rebuild.

Nicky Johnston, Tennyson Ward Brisbane City Council: “We need a standard definition of ‘flood’. At the moment, depending on policies, even within the same insurance companies there are different definitions.”

Legal aid organisations told the committee they are still taking on new cases, nine months after the Brisbane river swept through 30,000 properties.

They want industry guidelines to be replaced with an enforcable rule book.

Bridget Burton, Caxton Legal Centre: “And we want that enforcable instrument to contain provisions that specifically protect consumers and provide penalties when those protections are not complied with by the insurance companies.”

The most recent statistics say there are over 8,000 flood-affected homes that had their insurance claims rejejcted. But legal representatives say there are unsuccessful claims this figure doesn’t represent.

The inquiry has now moved to Ipswich and will visit Toowoomba and Innsifail before the end of the week.

Emilie Gramenz, QUT News.