‘Don’t be tricky’: Insurers put on notice
The state's flood disaster is expected to come with a massive clean-up bill, with insurers yesterday issued a warning not to be "tricky with their wording" in a bid to reduce payouts.
Immediate disaster recovery payments were yesterday made available for families in 18 local government areas, with more council areas set to be added to the eligible list.
Those eligible will be able to access a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child to cover emergency costs.
Available immediately, people in the local government areas of Armidale, Bellingen, Central Coast, Cessnock City, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Dungog, Hawkesbury, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Maitland City, Mid-Coast, Nambucca Valley, Newcastle City, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Penrith, Port Stephens and Tenterfield will be eligible for the federal government assistance.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was yesterday briefed by Emergency Management Australia on the extreme weather issues in NSW and flooding issues.
Mr Morrison and Premier Gladys Berejiklian have also discussed the unfolding disaster, with the Australian Defence Force and any other federal assistance offered if the NSW Government requires it.
Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said the emergency one-off payments were to assist people who had suffered a "significant loss," including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury.
"Our first concern is for the safety and needs of those directly affected, particularly those whose homes have been inundated by floodwaters," he said.
All mutual obligations for people on Jobseeker have also been suspended for those in the local government areas impacted by the NSW floods until at least April 6.
The Insurance Council of Australia yesterday said assessors are "standing by" to go into flood affected communities when waters recede.
"Insurers are assisting customers with their claims to help alleviate the stress and uncertainty associated with this unfolding weather event," CEO Andrew Hall said.
NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott yesterday said it is too early to estimate the cost of the clean-up, but said it's "never a cheap operation recovering from flood".
"The damage by flood water varies from community to community," he said.
He warned insurance companies against trying to reduce payouts.
"After every disaster, we see insurance companies trying to reduce their payouts by being tricky with their wording, and my strong advice to them is don't do it," he said.
Originally published as 'Don't be tricky': Insurers put on notice