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Insurers get more detailed Clarence Valley flood data

A date sharing arrangement between the Clarence Valley Council and the Insurance Council of Australia should help insurance companies write policies that better reflect actual flooding risk. Council’s works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said there were different types of flood mapping available, ranging from simple flood extent maps showing whether an area was wet or dry in a defined flood event (eg 1-100 year flood), to more complex flood maps detailing the expected flood heights and velocities in the defined flood. “Since 2014 council has had flood mapping information including extent, height and velocity for all properties from Mountainview downstream to the Clarence mouth available on its website,” he said. “But at the Floodplain Management Australia conference in May representatives from the Insurance Council of Australia invited councils to examine the flood information they had on file for insurance retailers. “The information the Insurance Council had was inaccurate in terms of inundation extent and height, and contained no information on velocities. We have now provided that information free of charge, so the Insurance Council can pass it onto its members and they can make more detailed and accurate flood risk assessments.” Insurance Council of Australia CEO Rob Whelan said having the detailed information was an important step towards gaining a deeper understanding of the risks faced by the region. “The data-sharing agreement gives insurers access to the best possible flood data, via the ICA’s National Flood Information Database, to underwrite the premiums of Clarence Valley customers. “Insurers will be able to fine-tune their premiums to align more closely with the council’s understanding of local flood risk, including its mitigation measures. “If residents or businesses have inquiries about how this agreement may impact on their premiums, they can call the ICA on 1800 734 621.”