Federal member for Dawson, George Christensen says he’s had advice from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) that they have declared a catastrophe event for the damage caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
The declaration also means residents of the north can access ICA’s disaster hotline which is now taking calls on 1800 734 621.
Mr Christensen says people need to remember that however that this line is for people with questions or who have lost documentation, not for lodging claims, nor for queries regarding government assistance”
ICA CEO Rob Whelan says insurers were ready to assist policyholders. Insurers are already taking calls and many have teams standing by to enter the region to assess claims and deliver assistance.
Mr Whelan has also provided some guidelines on recovering from cyclones and advises residents to take note:
• Check your home for damage. If you need help from state emergency services volunteers due to a storm or flood emergency call your local SES unit.
• Speak to your insurer before you attempt or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs, and ask for the insurer’s permission in writing. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy
• If your home is unsafe, notify your local authorities and check with your insurance company whether you can claim temporary housing expenses
• As evidence to support your claim, take pictures of damage to property and possessions, and keep samples of materials from damaged goods. This will be used by your insurer to process your claim as quickly as possible
• You can remove and discard any water or mud-damaged goods that pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings, but take photos and keep samples of materials and fabrics to show the assessor
• Keep any items that could be repaired. If in doubt, speak to your insurer
• Do not be concerned if you can’t find your insurance papers. Insurers have electronic records and need only your name and address.
More information is available at http://understandinsurance.com.au/types-of-disasters/cyclones.