Five Important Tips For Making Flood Damage Insurance Claims (Slater & Gordon)
by Michael Salmon
Do not assume that you are not covered and do not be guided by a friend or neighbour who says you are not. All policies are different and even two policies from the same company can be very different, particularly the definitions, the wording and the exemptions;
Start now to prepare to make a claim. Make a detailed list of damaged goods and furnishings including models, serial numbers and age - take photos of the goods - this will help make sure your get back exactly what you have lost;
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible that you will be making a claim; make sure you have the details of your policy including policy number. If you don’t know these details then your insurer should be able to assist with this basic information.
When filling in forms and providing details give the best information you can but do not guess or make assumptions. This could backfire down the track when the full extent of your losses is better understood. If the insurer asks for documents that have been destroyed or it does not accept you cannot provide these documents get legal advice quickly.
Do not sign any insurance documents until you a confident you fully understand them;
Keep any media coverage or other external and independent reporting or commentary on how the damage to your suburb or region occurred; often an internet search will help find this sort of material. Also contact your council to see if it has any information or reports that can be used to support your claim, the more detail local information you have the better;
In the case of a dispute with you insurer you can contact the insurance watchdog, the Financial Ombudsman Service. The FOS is an independent body that offers a free service to consumers who have disputes with their general insurance providers. The Ombudsman can be contacted on 1800 337 444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also get legal advice from The Queensland Law Society or Legal Aid Queensland. There are links to their websites and other valuable information on the Queensland Government’s’ Justice website: www.justice.qld.gov.au
Media Contact: Michael Salmon 0417 495 018
Slater & Gordon has also agreed to be a part of the joint response being coordinated by the Attorney-General and Queensland Law Society (QLS) to provide free legal information to Queensland flood victims. This work will be performed, as directed by the Attorney-General and QLS.