17 November 2020
Early destructive hailstorms struck the South East early this season, and with increased chances of extreme weather across the State, Legal Aid Queensland is warning people who own homes and car owners to be more aware of their legal rights when it comes to property damage.
Legal Aid Queensland provides free legal help to people affected by natural disasters.
Legal Aid Queensland’s consumer advocate, Paul Holmes, said there are some simple steps people can take to ensure they are protected from approaches from 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 encourages 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 a someone not organised by their insurers, can access free legal help from Legal Aid Queensland,” he said.
For free natural disaster legal information and advice call 1300 527 700 or visit www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/Natural-disaster-legal-help
Caroline Page (07) 3917 0406 or Amanda Catania (07) 3917 0407