The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has once again warned residents in Ipswich, Queensland to be wary of disaster chasers operating that are still seeking to benefit from the devastating hailstorms that struck south-eastern Queensland on Halloween 2020.
Last year, the ICA reported that disaster chasers already started seeking damaged homes to exploit vulnerable homeowners within hours of the SE Queensland hailstorm.
Eleven months after the event, the ICA continues to warn Queenslanders to be vigilant as disaster chasers remain active in the area, with some pressuring homeowners to sign a contract on the spot for future repair work and promising that the insurers will pay.
The representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia explained that disaster chasers' actions could leave the homeowner liable to pay a commission or inflated repair bills not covered by their insurance policy.
The ICA also emphasised that insurers will only pay for approved work covered by a policy, and it advised customers approached by or signed with a disaster chaser to seek guidance from their insurance broker or insurer.
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) confirmed that the ICA and insurers will have one-on-one consultations in Springfield Lakes for local customers affected by the Halloween hailstorm.
ICA CEO Andrew Hall said the personal consultations enable customers to speak with their insurer's claims team about their claims as insurers resolve a backlog of claims related to the Halloween hailstorm.
“The upcoming October customer consultations are an opportunity for the ICA and insurers to assist property owners with the progress of their claim and talk through any situations involving disaster chaser activity,” Hall said.
“Insurers have been working hard to resolve a backlog of claims related to last year's devastating hailstorms, with almost 80% of claims now closed. Insurers have received more than 43,200 claims, with the current estimated loss of $1.03 billion.”
The one-on-one consultations will be held at Springlake Hotel in Springfield Lakes from 9am to 8pm on October 06, 2021. It is a COVID-safe event, so registration is essential for customer consultations with insurers.