INSURER Suncorp says local government should have done far more to protect the flood-prone towns it controversially stopped selling policies to last year.
The group's insurance chief executive, Mark Milliner, responded after Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale last week accused the industry of refusing to pay out millions of dollars to flood victims while posting growing profits.
Floods have wreaked havoc in Queensland, only two years after the 2011 deluge.
Mr Milliner, who is also president of the Insurance Council of Australia, said Suncorp had lost a lot of money in insurance claims from towns it had since stopped selling flood cover policies to, such as Roma and Emerald in Queensland.
"In Roma over the past three years from a business perspective we've probably collected about $4 million in premiums and spent about $150 million in claims," he told ABC TV's Inside Business. "I think from a broad public and private sector we've spent nearly half a billion dollars in fixing up infrastructure, schools as well as homes up there."
A levee could have been built in the town eight years ago for $2 million, he said, but would now cost $15 million.
A levee is planned for Roma, where the average insurance premium has jumped to $3000, compared with nearby Tylerville, which has a $1200 average but also a flood levee.