An aerial picture of the floods that inundated Kyogle in January, causing millions of dollars worth of damage.
An aerial picture of the floods that inundated Kyogle in January, causing millions of dollars worth of damage.

Shame tardy insurers, says Rudd

By Alex Easton alex.easton@northernstar.com.au

INSURANCE companies who drag their feet in meeting claims or who refuse claims that ought to be paid should be ‘named and shamed’, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said yesterday.

Asked yesterday of complaints about some companies taking their time to respond to the region’s trio of disasters Mr Rudd said insurers had to move fast.

“I’m into naming and shaming,” Mr Rudd said. “When it gets to that point I’m keen to engage in a public debate on whether they are doing the right thing.

“Insurance companies work on a basis of calculations of risk, and that’s why it’s been a very profitable risk for a long time; but when these disasters hit in Lismore or elsewhere they need to come to the party.”

Mr Rudd’s comments came as the NRMA announced it would make ex-gratia payments to about 40 policy-holders whose homes were damaged in the flood, but were not eligible for an insurance payout because the company, like most others, did not cover flood.

NSW claims manager William Reilly said the payment would be the same as if the homes were covered for flood damage. However, that did not mean NRMA covered floods.

Page MP Janelle Saffin welcomed the news. In January she had urged the NRMA ‘to be as generous as they could’ to people with flood-damaged homes

“NRMA has shown itself to be a good corporate citizen,” she said. “People with outstanding flood insurance problems can contact me on 6621 9909.”



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