Protection

Up a creek – with a paddle: Six months on from the Townsville floods

26 Jul 2019 4 mins read

Six months on from the flood disaster that hit Far North Queensland, many property owners have found themselves left high and not so dry by not having flood insurance. But not EBM RentCover policyholders – all of our customers have flood cover!

Torrential rainfall across Far North Queensland in late January/early February led to widespread flooding. The Insurance Council of Australia declared the event a ‘disaster’ on 2 February and to date 29,935 claims have been lodged with insurers and $1.243 billion paid out. 

Of course, those figures only represent claims made by property owners who have flood cover in their policies – not all insurers offer this cover and many owners in flood-prone areas find cover is so expensive they choose not to take it up.

This is not a dilemma that EBM RentCover policyholders face – all of our policies automatically include flood cover. And because we use ‘premium pooling’, all of our customers have the same level of cover at an affordable price, regardless of the location or flood-risk profile of their investment property.

The peace-of-mind in knowing their investment is protected has been realised by close to 100 EBM RentCover policyholders who lodged claims with us following the monsoon event. And, to date, we have paid out close to $1 million.  

In fact, EBM RentCover has stepped in to help out when gaps in other insurance cover for our policyholder’s investment properties were found. 

This was the case for owner Lachlan McNaught, who found that the body corporate for his unit in Railway Estate had not taken out flood cover as part of the strata insurance. It was a decision that left him with a damaged and un-lettable investment property for 121 days while repairs were made.

As a RentCover Ultra policyholder, Lachlan had cover for the contents in his unit that wasn’t covered by strata insurance such as floorcoverings and window treatments. He was able to claim $4,432 to cover the cost of repairing the air conditioner and replacing the carpets and blinds.

As cover for damage to the building structure and common areas rests with the strata policy, Lachlan’s RentCover Ultra policy did not include these repairs. However, when EBM found out about the strata insurance not covering flood damage, we stepped in to help Lachlan out. Not only did we pay him $638 to replace a dishwasher (which would have been covered by strata insurance if the body corporate had taken out flood cover), we also covered loss of rent for 121 days ($3,284) – which was the expected repair time for the damage that the strata insurer would cover. And settled his claim the next business day.

Loss of rent would not usually be covered in this scenario, but we made the decision to do what we could to help Lachlan out. 

“My experience with EBM has been amazing,” Lachlan said.

“I didn’t have to beg or fight for anything. Everything I requested was reviewed, and everything was explained to me every step of the way.”

It isn’t only policyholders who have been grateful that we make good on our core values – like adding value by being the voice of knowledge in times of uncertainty. 

Kaye Matheson, Principal of McGrath Estate Agents Townsville was impressed by the lead EBM RentCover took.

“They discussed what would happen with the insurance on the first day of the floods,” explained Kaye.  

“As Townville had never flooded like this before, it being a one-in-1000-year event, it was comforting to have them discuss the process.”

Kaye’s agency had 88 properties on the rent roll affected by the flood and needed to make insurance claims for flood damage, storm damage and loss of rent.

And although only a couple of the investment properties were protected by EBM RentCover’s landlord insurance, our claims handling shone through.

In fact, Kaye’s daughter was one of those EBM RentCover policyholders. Her investment property was severely damaged in the flood and when she needed to claim on her landlord policy, the process was easy and “EBM were great”.

EBM RentCover made making claims easy, streamlining the process so agents did not have to provide lots of documentation or spend time following-up on the claim’s progress.

As Kaye’s daughter has first-hand experience from a customer perspective as well as a property manager acting on behalf of clients (as she handled all of the agency’s flood claims), she’s also noted another added value in being insured with EBM RentCover – our excess was the lowest of any insurer at $200.

A commitment to delivering care and consideration drives everything we do and we offer reliable solutions to help landlords and property managers feel confident they are well protected by insurance. We say if you need us, we are there – and we mean it.

Main photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash

*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 661 662 if you have any questions. 

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