Coles tells Waterside residents to look elsewhere for insurance

Carl Burton outside his Waterside home. Photo: Megan Dunn
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Coles Home Insurance has pulled the plug on Waterside Estate after new modelling for the Hawkesbury Nepean river system was revealed last month.

Due to the outlined flood risks of the region, the company has decided that flood cover is now outside of their underwriting guidelines and will cease policy plans in the area at their time of renewal.

Waterside resident Carl Burton has been insured with Coles for the past three years but has now had to find a new provider due to the potential flood risk of his home.

“They said basically we can no longer cover you because you’re in a high risk flood zone,” he said.

“I find it frustrating that they do it by postcode rather than whether your house is a risk. Some houses are right on top of a hill, there’s no way in the world that they would flood. They should be doing it by address.

“I’m pretty confident with the way Waterside is designed that where we are won’t be affected by flood but there’s always that chance of mother nature raining down on us pretty hard, so I’d prefer to have peace of mind rather than not have it at all.”

A Coles spokesperson said this decision was made by IAG, which backs Coles Home Insurance.

“As part of a general update of flood modelling by IAG across its home insurance products, flood risks for some local areas have been changed,” the spokesperson said.

“In a small number of cases, the updated flood risk profile for a property is such that IAG is no longer able to offer coverage.

“In such cases, policy holders are contacted before renewal over the phone by a consultant explaining the changes and next steps if they wish to have their flood risk reviewed.”

A spokesperson from the Insurance Council of Australia said the reality is no insurance companies have to cover people if they don’t want to.

“The issue here is that people are buying and living in properties in areas that have high flood risk and it’s incumbent on Local, State and Federal Government to work out how to best protect those communities,” the spokesperson said.

Due to the high risk nature of the region, it is recommended that all residents take out flood cover.

There are still providers who offer this in Waterside including ING, NRMA and Woolworths.

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