Victoria Flooding causes wide spread damage

Another home not insured for flood: source The Age

My heart goes out to the communities in Victoria that have been adversely affected by the flooding. After the years of drought, it is hard to fathom where all the water is coming from.

What makes is so much worse to me is that insurance is so messed up in Victoria at the moment. If anyone wants to insure for flood, the insurer will rightly charge an extra premium (a loading) for the extra risk being transferred from the business or home owner to the insurer.

This, under the current regime, attracts the fire service levy currently sitting at 95 cents in the dollar on commercial insurance including farms, contract works and business interruption and 46 cents in the dollar for home and contents. The 10% GST is charged on the premium and fire service levy and then the Victorian Government’s 10% Stamp Duty on insurance is charged on the Fire Service Levy, the premium and the GST. This triple-increases the businesss premium by 135.9% (yes, more than double) on commercial insurance and 76.7% on home and contents.

If this is not bad enough, if the fire brigade attend a home or business to assist with flood mitigation or to say pump out a flooded basement, the fire service will charge the property owner even though they are fully insured and have paid the exorbitant levy. The reason? The legislation states that only the attendance of a fire is a not charged to a business or home owner that has insurance.

And the government wonders why more people do not fully insure, do not insure for flood and seek some form of compensation from government and charities.

The answer is simple. The Government has priced insurance out of the reach of so many people with their hidden taxes on insurance.

The only good news is that the insidious tax is going in Victoria from 1 July 2013 (1 year and 20 days away, but who is counting?) Everyone with an interest in the protection of Victorian business and home owners and the economy of regional Victoria and the state as a whole, that is who!

On a side note, despite the CFA having received nearly 1/4 billion dollars in capital expenditure plus sigficant increases in the operating budget, it did not stop the Tyabb CFA from seeking contributions from everyone that attended the Tyabb packing store on Sunday to ask for a donation. We all have only so much disposable income to assist those in need. While I appreciate and value the great work of the CFA and their volunteer members, I think that medical research and other less well-funded organisations that do equally good work for our community should be receiving support and donations from the public. The trouble is they do not have the trucks or infastructure provided by those that insure to go out and seek donations.

I appreciate that this is a contraversial statement and it is certainly not an attack on the well-meaning volunteers. I am just highlighting that is just one giant mess brought about by a greedy government that just does not understand their true role.

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