Insurance claims don’t delay disaster clean up
Treasurer Curtis Pitt has reassured Queenslanders affected by cyclone and flood damage that they are able to clean up their properties without needing insurance assessors to first inspect the extent of damage.
“I asked the Under Treasurer and my office to follow-up on community concerns that insurance policy holders weren’t able to clean up prior to an inspection by insurance assessors and can confirm the rumours are untrue,” Mr Pitt said.
“Policyholders can clean up but they should take photos of the items they are discarding and they should also contact their insurer before doing so.
“This is so that policyholders can provide evidence to substantiate their claims.”
Below are a list of recommendations from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA):
- Photograph, then remove and discard, any water or mud damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings.
- Speak to your insurer before you attempt or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs, and ask for the insurer’s permission in writing. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy.
- Make a list of each item and include a detailed description, such as brand, model and serial number.
- Keep samples of materials and fabrics to show the assessor.
- Store damaged or destroyed items somewhere safe.
- Do not throw away goods that could be salvaged or repaired.
The ICA has also warned Queenslanders to watch out for scammers posing as builders or insurance company assessors who demand cash for their services.
ICA CEO Rob Whelan said being aware of scam repairers and builders could save policyholders from becoming victims twice.
“This racket is generally carried out by travelling conmen and woman who typically target elderly or vulnerable householders, though business owners are also being approached,” he said.
“They often claim to represent the insurance company and pressure the householder or business owner for money to inspect the roof or other damage. They may offer special deals on repairs, demanding cash up front, and leaving the job unfinished or poorly done.
“If someone knocks at your door claiming to represent your insurer, contact your insurance company to check their identity. An insurance company representative would never demand cash to carry out an inspection.
“Never agree to repairs that you may wish to lodge an insurance claim for without first checking with your insurer. Not only are these scammers unlikely to do a good job, but unauthorised work may not be covered by your insurance policy.”