Ipswich on insurance black list
IPSWICH residents have been barred from obtaining new home insurance policies by several leading companies after an embargo was placed on the 4305 postcode.
Suncorp Personal Insurance spokesman Mike Sopinski said an embargo had been put in place following last month's floods.
“It is not unusual for insurers to put embargoes in place during and following major weather events,” he told The Queensland Times.
“This is particularly the case following the nature of the widespread floods we have experienced.”
Mr Sopinski said the embargo was being reviewed daily.
“Our primary focus at this time is meeting the claims of our existing customers,” he said.
“This embargo is only on a small area at this stage.
“The need for an embargo is kept under constant review.”
He said the embargo was in line with industry practice.
The embargo policy also applies to AAMI, APIA and GIO, which are owned by the Suncorp Group.
The postcode includes suburbs such as Brassall, Churchill, Coalfalls, Eastern Heights, Flinders View, Leichhardt, Moores Pocket, Newtown, One Mile, Raceview, Sadliers Crossing, West Ipswich, Woodend and Wulkuraka. Even the city's highest streets, on Denmark Hill, are included.
A 55-year-old Eastern Heights resident said his application for an insurance quote from Suncorp was knocked back simply because of his postcode.
“I wasn't affected by the recent floods, just shopping around for a quote as my policy with another company was due,” he said.
“If every insurance company goes the same way, people will be limited by choice and who they can be insured by.
“I'm halfway up a hill. I wasn't even affected by the floods.
“They should be taking circumstances into account.”
Allianz Australia spokesman Nicholas Scofield said the only embargo the company had in place was in areas of north Queensland in the path of Cyclone Yasi.
Both NRMA and RACQ Insurance currently have no embargoes in place.
NRMA spokesperson Sue Hawkins said the company had the power to enact a storm embargo when the Bureau of Meteorology put out a warning, with people with new policies not able to claim for storm damage for 48 hours.
The Insurance Council of Australia, the Financial Ombudsman Service and Queensland Legal Aid is to host information meetings for flood-affected residents:
February 8: 7pm-9pm at the WG Hayden Humanities Centre, 56 South Street, Ipswich.
February 9: 7pm-9pm at Goodna State School, 1 Albert Street, Goodna.
February 10: 7pm-9pm at Karalee State School, Summervilles Road, Karalee.