With south-east Queensland again reeling from nature’s destructive forces, a podcast produced by Legal Aid Queensland’s Civil Law team almost a year ago is worth revisiting.
LAQ’s ‘Law for All’ podcast deals with the issue of insurance when a natural disaster hits, with helpful information for people in disaster-prone areas.
LAQ’s consumer advocate Paul Holmes, who was part of the team helping Queenslanders hit by the 2011 floods more than a decade ago, in March last year said people in flood-prone and storm-damaged areas should be aware of post-disaster hustles.
He said there were some simple steps people could take to ensure they were protected.
“After a natural disaster damages homes and cars, we get reports of opportunists trying to make a quick dollar from unwitting property owners and we have some basic tips to help people make informed decisions about repairs,” Mr Holmes said.
“Hopefully, people have ensured 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.
“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 before you get legal advice.
“Anyone needing legal help with their insurance claims, or anyone who has entered into an agreement with someone not organised by their insurers, can get free legal help from Legal Aid Queensland,” he said.