The Federal and Queensland Governments met today with insurance companies and industry representatives to make sure they're working closely with households and businesses to resolve claims stemming from the devastation caused by the floods.
Many houses and businesses are still inundated with water and others remain under threat so it will be some time before we know the full extent of the damage.
Insurance companies undertook to work with their customers to process claims as quickly as possible in these difficult times, and the Insurance Council of Australia has said its members had the resources to handle the expected volume of claims in the coming days and weeks. Assessors are on the ground in flood-affected areas and will be at recovery centres to work with victims of the floods.
As the waters recede and people return to their properties, households need to assess the damage and make contact with their insurance companies.
We encourage flood-affected households and businesses to make an inventory of lost and damaged items, photograph the damage sustained and keep samples or records of any materials that have had to be removed from the property.
Anyone with a dispute over their insurance assessment is encouraged to engage in a free dispute resolution process that is binding on insurance companies.
In the first instance, people can request their insurer reviews a decision to deny a claim. They can then appeal a further denial with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
A 24-hour insurance hotline is operating for those who have questions about insurance, or who have lost paperwork and need assistance in identifying their insurer. The hotline number is 1300 728 228.
We will continue working closely with insurers as part of the recovery and rebuilding efforts, and will meet regularly as we tackle the aftermath of this tragedy.
14 January 2011