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Flood losses rising as survey shows high levels of underinsurance

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Losses from the Queensland and NSW floods have reached an estimated $2.3 billion, while a survey undertaken for the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has highlighted significant levels of underinsurance among affected communities.

ICA reported today that insurers have received 153,769 claims, a 2% increase on Friday’s figures. Based on previous events the estimated current cost has reached $2.307 billion.

ICA has also released results from a survey of more than 1000 people from three flood-prone regions in southeast Queensland and NSW that finds 37% of respondents say they wouldn't have enough insurance to rebuild.

Two-thirds of respondents also do not believe governments are investing enough to protect homes and communities from extreme weather events, and more than 90% of those respondents think spending should at least double.

ICA says an overwhelming 94% of people surveyed say there should be better controls on where homes are built so they are not at risk of flood.

On affordability and availability constraint drivers, the survey finds 47% say flood cover can be difficult or expensive to obtain due to the risk of flood, one in five say it is driven by insurer profits and 11% cite climate change.

“The Insurance Council has long called for greater investment in measures that better protect homes and communities from the impact of extreme weather,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall said.

“This most recent flood has unfortunately brought this issue into sharp relief, and now those directly impacted have added their voices to this call.”

The survey was carried out from March 11-14 across the Northern Rivers, Western Sydney and Greater Brisbane regions.