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50% of Townsville residents may not be covered for recent floods


Source: AAP

The Townsville flood insurance bill has already reached $124 million, and claims keep pouring in.

Townsville has seen heavy rain and catastrophic flooding since late January, with over 12 days of wet weather.

Clean up efforts are underway for the homes destroyed by the extreme event. There has already been $1.9 million in community recovery payments made, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stating that there have been 16,000 applications for assistance as of Thursday. Over 200 people still remain in evacuation centres and almost 1,000 homes are severely damaged or completely uninhabitable.

This is the third time in three years that Queensland has experienced flooding that rises to the level of "catastrophe" as defined by the ICA, including Cyclone Debbie sweeping across Airlie Beach in 2017, which reached a damages cost of $1.7 billion.

Yet, as many as half of Townsville residents might not have home and contents insurance, despite Queensland's reputation for bad weather. A Finder survey in October 2018 of 2,000 people found that only 49% of Queenslanders have insurance that protects their home and belongings - one of the lowest figures in the country.

This could mean that millions of dollars in damage could have to be footed by homeowners.

Australians urged to review their policies

All home insurance policies offer flood cover, but it is usually an optional extra. As many Queenslanders will have unfortunately discovered, it's not worth skimping on cover.

Even if you don't live anywhere near water, it's still worth looking into cover as definitions can get hazy, especially when there's stormwater involved. Always ensure you never underinsure your home, as if you're affected by something as devastating as this flood, you could be hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

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