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Mayor’s call heard by insurance industry

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has welcomed moves by the insurance industry to respond to community concerns over the Halloween hailstorm recovery and rebuilding.

Insurers and the Insurance Council of Australia will be at the Springlake Hotel from Wednesday 3 March to Friday 5 March for a community information session and one-on-one consultations with insurers.

The community forum will provide general insurance guidance to property owners who have lodged or intend to lodge a claim.

The one-on-one consultations are an opportunity for policyholders to speak directly with their insurer about their individual claims.

Mayor Harding, who chairs the Ipswich Local Disaster Management Group, said the forum will be an opportunity for the insurance industry to hear from impacted residents directly.

“We welcome the Insurance Council of Australia to Ipswich and encourage anyone who was affected by the Halloween hailstorm to attend one of the sessions,” Mayor Harding said

“Three months on from the hailstorm, hundreds of homes still have a tarp on their roof to protect them from rain and potentially more damage, and hundreds of families are waiting on their insurance claims to be processed.

“Some residents have been out of their homes and without their possessions for 16 weeks and it is vital that the recovery work is approved and carried out by licensed builders and contractors immediately.”

With a damage bill of over $805 million, this Halloween hailstorm event has created significant impact to the Ipswich community and continues to do so with only one third of insurance claims completed three months after the natural disaster.

Insurers have received more than 33,500 claims to date with more than 90 per cent of claims from householders.

Local Disaster Management Group deputy chair Councillor Kate Kunzelmann urged anyone who needed any information about how the insurance claims process works to take advantage of the one-one-one consultations with insurers.

“If you still have a damaged property from the October hailstorm, I urge you to attend the forum,” she said.

“Given the delays with builders and tradies it is a step in the right direction for the insurance industry to meet with residents.”

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall said the Insurance Council of Australia acknowledges community members’ frustration with repair delays following last year’s destructive hailstorms.

“The community forum and one-on-one consultations with insurers are an opportunity to understand more about the claims process, as well as meet with a representative of your insurer or the Insurance Council to discuss individual insurance claims,” Mr Hall said.

Youi insurance company will also be setting up a Springfield Community Hub on Wednesday 24 February from 3pm until 7.30pm and again on Thursday 3pm until 6.30pm at the Springfield Lakes Community Centre.

Youi customers who were affected by the hail storm and need help with an existing claim or to lodge a claim, can visit them during those times.

A QRA spokesperson said residents with concerns regarding the status of their insurance claim or the progress of restoration works should contact their insurance company in the first instance.

“If they cannot resolve their issues directly with their insurance company they may wish to contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on 1800 931 678,” the spokesperson said.

Community information session Wednesday 3 March at 6pm.

One-on-one consultations with insurers Thursday 4 March and Friday 5 March from 10am.

To register visit disasters.org.au/octoberhail or call 1800 734 621.

The forums will be held at the Springfield Lakes Hotel, 1 Springfield Lakes Blvd.

This is a COVID-safe event so registration is essential.

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