When choosing an insurance policy, competitive pricing is important, but dig a little deeper with your research and you will find there are some benefits offered by insurers that are in fact priceless.

Queensland Country Bank’s Head of Products and Member Services, Rebekah Haynes, says it is during the claims process that people realise the true value of choosing a reputable insurer, as many locals discovered after Townsville’s flood event in February.

“Our insurance partner CGU was one of the first on the ground with a dedicated claims team ready to assist Members and one of the last to leave, providing invaluable service that proved once again that their first priority is the safety of our Members and supporting those impacted to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” says Ms Haynes.

“We received really positive feedback from our flood affected Members who found the claiming process easy and felt the claims officers were helpful and showed the empathy they needed at that time."

“That feedback reinforces to us the importance of partnering with an insurer whose values align with our own and gives us confidence in the insurance products we offer.”

Queensland Country Member Terry Kingston and his wife Kristine had five foot of water go through their Rosslea unit during the flood.

“We were the first to be evacuated and the last to get back in,” Terry recalls.

“We thought water might go in the garage if we were unlucky, but what happened was unbelievable.”

The ease of the claims process through CGU and their people-centric approach proved to be invaluable to the Kingstons at such a traumatic time.

“Having our insurer set up at the Recovery Centre made such a difference because I could talk face to face with someone,” said Mr Kingston.

“They were so empathetic when they saw the photos. An assessor come out the same day and the claim for our Contents Insurance was paid in total within two days.

“They were very well organised and already had temporary accommodation booked ready to put people into. At that time there was a lot of stress for people trying to find accommodation – they took that off our hands.”

After a month of living in temporary accommodation organised by CGU, the Kingstons lodged a claim for rent as repairs were undertaken in their unit complex by the body corporate. CGU also organised one year’s temporary storage for items that were able to be salvaged upstairs in the unit, and Ms Haynes says it’s just one example of how CGU go above and beyond just replacing or repairing items to ensure the well-being of their customers.

“It’s the practical support such as temporary accommodation for occupants, including pets, or things like hiring a generator and paying for fuel,” she says.

“During the repair process, CGU used qualified local tradespeople wherever possible, and we know that is something that is important to most people.”

Disaster events tend to highlight how many people are underinsured. Ms Haynes says Queensland Country staff are fully trained to ask the right questions to help ensure assets and possessions are covered adequately at the time of taking out a new policy, and CGU has built an excellent calculator which is available online to help calculate the estimated replacement cost of your home and contents.

Mr Kingston agrees he never expected he would ever need a total payout, and this experience has shown him just how important it is to be adequately covered.

“It’s easy to underestimate the value you need for home and contents insurance,” he says.

“But you’d be surprised the true value of pie makers, toasters, microwaves and other little things. It doesn’t take long for it to all add up.”

Queensland Country Bank offers a range of insurance options including Home & Contents, Landlords, Motor Vehicle, Boat, Caravan and Travel through their exclusive partner CGU Insurance. You can also talk to the friendly staff in branch, or phone 1800 075 078 for a quote.


How to Prepare Beyond the Gutters

  • Do an inventory of the items in each room including lesser thought of items like linen and cleaning utensils
  • Take photos of valuable items and important documents
  • Download your insurance app for claiming should you ever need to
  • Save a copy of images and inventory in Cloud storage
  • Calculate the estimated replacement cost of your home and contents