Legal Aid Queensland is warning home and car owners to be more aware of their legal rights in relation to property damage in the wake of recent destructive hailstorms and the likelihood of more extreme weather events throughout the state.
Legal Aid Queensland consumer advocate Paul Holmes said there were are some simple steps people could take to ensure they were protected from approaches by post-natural disaster hustlers.
“After a natural disaster damages homes and cars, we get reports of opportunists trying to make a shifty dollar from unwitting property owners and we have some basic tips to help people make informed decisions about repairs,” Mr Holmes said.
“People need to check their insurance is up to date and covers them for damage from natural disasters like hail, storm, fire and flood damage.
“Being fully insured means there will be a series of clear steps they will need to go through if their property is damaged during a natural disaster.
“Firstly, if your home, property or car are damaged, lodge a claim straight away with your insurer or insurers – this will cost you nothing.
“If someone knocks on your door offering to lodge your claims for you, politely ask them to leave.
“Secondly, if someone arrives offering to repair your car and they weren’t organised by your insurer, don’t sign any contract, or give them your car keys.”
Mr Holmes also encouraged people to keep their important documents together in a central place so in the case of a natural disaster they can be found easily and quickly.
“Anyone needing legal help with their insurance claims, or anyone who has entered into an agreement with someone not organised by their insurers, can access free legal help from Legal Aid Queensland,” he said.
Legal Aid Queensland provides free legal help to people affected by natural disasters.
See the Legal Aid Queensland website for free natural disaster legal information and advice or call 1300 527 700.
Caroline Page is Principal Communications Officer at Legal Aid Queensland