With predictions of La Niña bringing a wet, stormy summer with increased chances of cyclones, Legal Aid Queensland is encouraging people living in high-risk areas to get organised before any potential disasters strike.
Legal Aid Queensland’s consumer advocate Paul Holmes said there are several things people can do now to lessen any post-natural disaster red tape.
“Firstly, we’d suggest you check your insurance is fully paid and kept up to date–this includes your car, home and contents insurance,” he said. “Even if you don’t think you have anything worth insuring, the cost to replace everything is far greater than many people expect.
“We encourage everyone to have a good look at their insurance, check what you are covered for and whether it also covers you for extreme weather events such as severe hail damage, cyclones, flooding or fires.
“If you’re considering transferring to cheaper insurance, make sure the cover is at least as good, if not better, than what you’ve currently got.”
Mr Holmes said anyone who has moved over the last year should check their insurer has their updated address and contact details.
“When it comes to dealing with your insurer or potential insurer, no question is a silly one–make sure you ask lots of questions if you’re unsure about anything and keep asking questions until you have your answer,” he said.
Legal Aid Queensland provides free legal help for people who are affected by natural disasters.
Mr Holmes said his final tip for people living in high risk areas is to gather all important documents together, such as passports, birth certificates and insurance policies, to ensure they can be collected quickly and easily if faced with an emergency.
“Whether you’re trying to navigate insurance claims, or you’re getting your life back together after a disaster, it can be downright painful without the right paperwork, so making sure you have copies of all this basic information will go a long way to reducing your stress during a potentially traumatic time.”
People in need of free natural disaster legal information and advice call 1300 527 700 or visit Legal Aid Queensland’s website.