Time for the insurance industry to step up

Once again our region has been inundated with flood waters and once again, many average families and businesses will be left to fend for themselves.
Nanjing Night Net

Such events are as unpredictable as they are devastating.

After a decade of drought, our region was first touched by flood waters in 2010 and then again in 2012, significant rainfall and catchments full to the brim led to widespreaddamage from one end of the Riverina to the other.

For some residents it was years before insurance companies settled claims.

Insurers are undoubtedly there to make money for shareholders –to balance the risk versus the cost of a policy.But, like banks, they also hold a social and community responsibility to be both fair and reasonable when it comes to dealing with clients.

The 2010 rain events came after a decade of dry weather when most businesses and homeowners had no claim on their insurance companies.

During this time, many paid their premiums dutifully and without quibble.

Yet, when it came time for the consumer to lean on the insurer after the 2010 and 2012 floods, a large number of them sought a way to avoid or at least defer payment.

It was a disturbing and distressing example of how some companies are driven not by the need to provide a service for their customers, but to achieve a bottom line outcome for shareholders –most of whom are far removed from the incident upon which the claims are being made.

Rocketing premiums have only highlighted the responsibility of insurers to meet their obligations when they become due.

No one wants to become the victim of a natural disaster –that is the last thing people would want.

But when it does happen we should equally expect prompt and effective action from our insurers to remedy what can be a distressing situation.

There shouldbe no delays, nor debate about the ‘small print” –but that’s exactly what we have seen in thepast.

Hopefully the current events we are facing in the region will not be subject to such indecision and those that deserve compensation are dealt with quickly and appropriately.

If that were not to happen, surely the time has come for our governments to regulate the industry to ensure that people get exactly what they are paying for –and quickly.

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