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ICA rejects Tasmania's 'uninsurable' claim

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A Tasmanian council’s claim that climate change has made several beachside houses uninsurable has been rejected by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter was quoted as saying houses in Blackmans Bay are no longer insurable.

He said one insurer declined to provide flood cover to a resident because her property, which meets all necessary building approvals, faces a high risk of inundation.

“This lady was going overseas for eight weeks and is now without insurance for flood at all,” Mr Winter told ABC Radio Hobart.

“That’s an example where those sort of things are impacting on homeowners right now.”

Mr Winter was not available to comment when contacted by insuranceNEWS.com.au, and Deputy Mayor Jo Westwood declined to speak on the matter.

ICA spokesman Campbell Fuller has pushed back against the claims, telling insuranceNEWS.com.au “flood cover is available for all properties” in Blackmans Bay.

Insurers will price each property according to assessed flood risk.

“The risk of inundation in this area is reflected in the premium,” Mr Fuller said. “Householders can choose to shop around for policies and premiums that best meet their needs.”

He praised the council’s efforts to strengthen the area’s stormwater system after one-in-100-year and one-in-10-year floods hit last year. The council’s 2019/20 budget allocates almost $1 million for stormwater projects in Blackmans Bay.

“The Insurance Council is encouraged by Kingborough Council’s recognition of the impact that high-frequency inundation is having and supports the council’s goal of reducing risk through investing in mitigation works,” Mr Fuller said.

“Insurers will reassess the flood risk component of premiums where mitigation can be proven to reduce risks to individual properties and updated flood data is provided to the Insurance Council’s National Flood Information Database.”