Frustrated residents raise insurance issues at a meeting for flood-affected homeowners held at Karalee State School.
Frustrated residents raise insurance issues at a meeting for flood-affected homeowners held at Karalee State School. Sarah Harvey

Flood-affected urged: lodge claims

FED up and looking for answers, about 150 insurance customers attended a community information meeting at Karalee on Thursday night.

The meeting brought together speakers from the Insurance Council of Australia, the Financial Ombudsman Service and Legal Aid, as well as flood-affected residents who were feeling let down by their insurer after having payouts delayed or turned down.

Like many of the audience, Lindsay and Michelle Small were simply looking for advice on ways to effectively approach their insurer.

The couple are currently living in a caravan in the front yard of their Voyager Drive home after their house was inundated during the floods.

Despite an assessor visiting their home close to three weeks ago, the couple are still no closer to finding out whether their insurer will cover the costs of replacing the contents of their home or their wrecked septic system.

A Riverview resident, who did not wish to be named, faces a similar predicament.

The woman in her mid-30s is currently living in an upstairs section of her home, despite it having no walls.

“I have lost my house. There is nothing left,” she said.

“I’m paying a mortgage on a house that is gone.”

Legal Aid Queensland spokeswoman Catherine Uhr told those assembled the first step was to lodge a claim, even if they had been told by their insurance company they had no grounds to make one.

She said the agency was also able to offer free legal advice, encouraging people not to give up before they had examined all their options.

“There is a whole process you can go through to challenge a claim, but you can’t go through the process unless you have lodged a claim,” Ms Uhr said.

Locals will be able to vent their frustrations at a rally protesting the inaction of insurance companies today. The rally will be held at Barry Street, East Ipswich, from 10am.



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