Flood-hit Inglewood businesses count costs amid insurance confusion

When Sharon Reidy started Inglewood Coffee Shop and Tea Garden over 10 years ago, she knew she was not eligible for flood coverage from her insurer.

When floodwaters ravaged the border town last week, his business was one of many that were badly affected. She now faces a damage bill estimated at $ 25,000.

“The flood went through 18 inches of the wall so anything that had engines in the back was gone,” Ms. Reidy said.

The cafe had seven refrigerators and two freezers which were all destroyed by the water.

His deep fryer was one of the few devices that didn’t get damaged.

Damage that remains after the flood waters recede.(Provided)

“My heart, I think, hit the ground. My husband was working, working, working trying to make me happy but there was nothing he could do,” she said.

Ms Reidy said that when she opened the store, her insurer told her she was not eligible for flood coverage under her policy because she was in an area prone to flooding.

“It was in February 11 years ago. They had just had a flood, but it didn’t enter the city, but they said it was a red spot and they didn’t have covered the flooding, ”she said.

“I was like, ‘No one is covered, so we’re all in the same boat. “

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows for search, up and down arrows for volume.
Play the video.  Duration: 1 minute 26 seconds

Flood waters after heavy rains over the town of Inglewood in Queensland

Ms Reidy said she hoped the government would release emergency funding to help cover damage to businesses that were uninsured against flood damage.

“If I can’t get the funding, I will have to close the doors. I have no other choice,” she said.

After a few financially tough years due to closures between New South Wales and Queensland, Ms Reidy said she didn’t have the money to fix her store.

“I have been doing this store since it was until now and I always spend money on the store when I earn money, but now I have no more money to spend on the store. store, ”she said.

“It’s not just me, that’s why I didn’t collapse. There are a lot of us, especially the shops and things.

Confusion for policyholders

Mark Bull, who runs Bull Family Funerals in Inglewood, said he estimated the damage to his funeral home at around $ 80,000.

Although he made monthly insurance payments through his bank, which is an agent of his insurer, he said there has been confusion over whether his business, home or both would be covered for damage caused by flooding.

“After the flood we came back and all the walls, everything just got destroyed. We were like, ‘Well, I hope we’ll be right because we have insurance’, but that’s a another story for the moment, “he added. Mr Bull said.

He said the family had recently remodeled the funeral home to bring it up to date and all furniture in the arrangement had been destroyed, along with many coffins.

The walls of the building, he said, were so soggy that if you squeezed them they would collapse.

Damage to the floor of the funeral home shown, caused by water and flooding.
Flood damage to the floor of the Bull family funeral home.(Provided)

“I’m six foot one [185cm] and the water was rising to my waist when I entered the funeral home – it was absolutely heartbreaking, “he said.

“My wife and I put a lot of effort and time into making the funeral home what it is and it was when we looked around that it was destroyed. Absolutely destroyed.”

An exhausted-looking woman mops up the water from the ground.
Kylie Bull says cleaning is wreaking havoc on the family.(Provided)

Mr Bull said that since the flood he had been in constant contact with his insurer about his coverage and that there had been confusion about what property was actually covered.

“We understood that the funeral home and our home were both fully insured. We see money coming out of our bank every month for insurance,” he said.

He said that at first his insurance company told him the funeral home was covered by an insurance policy, but was later told that he only had one policy for his. House.

“Because we have mortgages on two properties, the bank told us that both properties should be insured. [now] told us that only houses are insured and this is only for the structure [damage].

“We said to the insurance company, ‘Who would just buy structural insurance? “We just don’t know what’s going on,” he said.

“We are in limbo”.

Flood waters push further west

Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Lawrence Springborg said communities west of Goondiwindi – around Talwood, Bungunya and Toobeah – could be affected by high floods in the coming days as water from the river Macintyre could move downstream and join with other flooded streams and rivers.

He said farming communities could likely face days, if not weeks, of isolation.

“I would cheer people on about the next day, as long as the roads are still open, especially to the west, please restock and make sure you have supplies so you can support yourself for the next few weeks,” Mayor Springborg said.

Mr Springborg said there were plans in place to be able to get supplies to properties from helicopters.

He said he was speaking to the Australian Lot Feeders Association, AgForce and the Department of Agriculture about how downstream properties could be affected.

“[There are] potential emerging animal welfare issues, particularly around intensive and animal industries [such as] feedlots and pigsties, ”he said.

“We need to be able to feed them because we have serious problems. Our roads are currently extremely damaged and some of them will be cut in the coming days.

“Then we have to go out and do an assessment of those and the more damaged they are, it’s going to limit our ability to be able to move essential food and commodities into these intensive animal industries.”

Last night, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a major flood warning for the Macintyre and Weir rivers, the Dumaresq river and the Macintyre stream in the border region.

It also issued major flood warnings for the Condamine and Balonne rivers and the Dawson river.

About Edward Fries

Check Also

Divers removed 25,000 pounds of trash from Lake Tahoe. Now they want to clean up more Sierra lakes

A first-of-its-kind project to clear underwater trash and trash along Lake Tahoe’s 72-mile shoreline wraps …