RACQ has warned Gympie policyholders to beware opportunistic storm chasers and third parties who knocked on the doors of locals to tempt them to lodge a dodgy insurance claim.
The warning comes after the Queensland insurer logged a massive number of claims for property damage due to the severe storm system that hit Gympie and Kingaroy eight months ago. The claims number was unprecedented compared with the normal pattern of other catastrophic weather events in Queensland over the past five years.
“We’re seeing a huge number of claims come in such a long time after the event and we’re hearing from our members who’re worried these storm chasers are trying to take advantage of them and make a buck,” said Paul Turner, RACQ spokesperson. “We don’t want our members to be caught out signing a contract with a third party and then have to pay for expensive repairs themselves if their claim isn’t accepted. We’re also worried about the impact on affordability of insurance for the broader community as a result.”
Turner said RACQ and global reinsurers questioned the anomaly in claims data in Gympie following the storm.
“As a result of this event, we may need to review our product offering and premiums for the area and apply additional diligence to claims,” Turner said. “We have a responsibility to protect our members and to provide fair and affordable insurance cover for all, which is why we’re speaking up about this issue. We’re asking our members not to engage with third-party contractors and to call their insurer first so they can protect themselves, and what they pay for insurance, in the long run.”