Pratten St resident Rosemary Addis has been shocked to learn her insurance cover wasn’t comprehensive.
Pratten St resident Rosemary Addis has been shocked to learn her insurance cover wasn’t comprehensive. Emma Channon

'I feel like a sitting duck'

A WARWICK home owner who had six feet of water through her property said she feels like a "sitting duck" waiting for the next flood.

Rosemary Addis has spent the past 12 months making her home liveable after the summer floods and has one final item on her list before she feels comfortable living in her home - but it is proving harder than she imagined.

Ms Addis wants her Pratten St home raised so it's out of harm's way, but said she has met dead ends from her insurance company Westpac Insurance.

Westpac Insurance was initially helpful after the event, giving Ms Addis a pay-out which she used to replace ruined internal structures such as floors and benches, and generally make her home liveable again.

Yet when she contacted them for help raising her home - and thereby fix her now cracked brick pillars holding it up - they told her she was not covered.

Westpac Insurance told Ms Addis while she was covered for loss or damage arisen from a flood, she was not covered for "settling, expansion, shrinkage or any Earth movement other than an earthquake".

"Legally they've done the right thing, but it was the "fine print" that I didn't see," she said.

"When the builder came out to do the assessment and told me the stumps were cracked and fatigued and needed a lift, I would have done it. But I was so flummoxed with everything.

"The pay-out they gave me was only enough to fix up inside the home to make it liveable, rentable and saleable. It wouldn't have been enough to lift the house and it certainly wouldn't have been enough for both."

Adding more heartache, Ms Addis is just a newcomer to Pratten St, having purchased the home months before the flood.

She now lies ready and waiting for what she believes will be another flood.

"I've got plastic boxes ready to throw things in and I've got a friend with a truck who will back it in and we'll pull down the railing on the veranda and throw everything in. I hear on the news there is higher than average rainfall on its way and the La Nina is only just developing in the Pacific."

Fellow Warwick residents Peter and Glennis Rodeck are also watching out for any signals of another flood.

The garden enthusiasts were not just inundated in the summer floods, but received minor flooding in October.

Mr Rodeck said a colony of ants had unknowingly let them know in advance.

"They came up to the house in September, which we didn't mind, just before the flood we had in October," he said.

"Then they left in February, after all three floods. It's amazing how animals know."

Mr and Mrs Rodeck have watched that same colony take refuge in their house this past week, and are worried the tiny colony are predicting another rain event.

According to Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke, that prediction could not be far off.

Mr Dutschke said he could not rule out the chance of flooding by the end of the month.

"There is the chance of getting some flooding and that would most likely come from thunderstorms and would be more flash flooding," he said.

"It's unlikely to be any severe widespread flooding, but it's likely to turn out wetter than normal."


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