FLOOD FANTASY: Robyn Pollard stands on her partner’s Georgica property, which was reclassified by their former insurer, GIO, as being flood-prone, despite being 30 vertical metres above Jiggi Creek.
FLOOD FANTASY: Robyn Pollard stands on her partner’s Georgica property, which was reclassified by their former insurer, GIO, as being flood-prone, despite being 30 vertical metres above Jiggi Creek.

Insurance hike doesn't hold water

SITTING in his Mountain Top Road home at Georgica, John Caldwell was surprised to read his home insurance premium had jumped more than 100 per cent this year.

Yet what really bemused, and then angered, him was the reason given for the increase of more than $1000, despite never making a claim in the many years he has been insured with GIO.

“GIO have deemed that our little house is subject to inundation from flooding,” he said.

The irony is that the house sits in mountainous terrain about 30 vertical metres above Jiggi Creek.

He said even after consistently heavy rain, the house had never been cut off by flooding.

“Jiggi Creek rarely goes over the causeway at Jacobson Road, which is about four metres deep, and has never cut off Mountain Top Road, where we are,” he said.

Mr Caldwell’s partner, Robyn Pollard, said that if their house ever did flood, then the whole eastern seaboard of Australia would be under water.

GIO said it couldn’t discuss particular clients, but added it was confident with its risk modelling.

“GIO has invested in developing the most comprehensive flood risk modelling tool in Australia,” GIO’s executive manager, Michael Gassmann, said.

“The tool incorporates data collected from a wide range of independent sources to help ensure that each home’s individual flood risk can beaccurately assessed.

“Almost 10pc of Australian homes have some level of flood risk. Accurate risk pricing is complicated and evolves as circumstances change.”

Just what has changed in Mr Caldwell’s case remains unclear.

However, in June last year, GIO apologised to former East Lismore resident Judy Weston after it wrongly reclassified her hillside house as being in a flood zone.

In both cases, a Lismore City Council spokesperson said it had not reclassified either property.

Mr Caldwell changed insurers earlier this week.



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