Now that the cyclone has stopped and the flood waters are receding you will have to now battle the insurance companies.All insurance companies will stick with what is in the policy documents so your first place to start is the actual insurance policy documents they will usually be online these days. Once you read thru and find you are covered it’s time to enter the insurance claim vortex. This can be a very long and drawn out affair.
Most insurers these days do everything to process claims as swiftly as possible but when there is a natural disaster there are always going to be delays . If your home is damaged and unsafe, or not secure you need to call and explain the situation and get what is called a “makesafe” basically your home will be made safe and secure until repairs can be made . Alot of insurers use professional third party assessors that will visit your home on behalf of your insurer as well as their own assessors.These people will document the extent of the damage and its likely they will take video,photos and measurements to use for processing your claim .
Next you may get visits from insurance builders, these are the guys who will be quoting on the job .Sometimes it may be just one or two or three different builders who will be quoting on what is called the “scope” this is the document that will be used to form the claim and what works will be done . You are able to have input into the scope so don’t be shy ask questions and make sure you understand the scope fully.
next step can go two ways . One the work gets done and everybody is happy or .Two you may be covered so you can ask for a “cashsettlement” to the value of the scope to engage your own trades to do the work , if you do go down this road make sure you have the right guys because this can end badly for you the insurance company will not bail you out or provide additional funds if the repairs go over budget .
The benefit of getting the insurer to do the work is that they have sourced the best trades that are available at the time to do the work . The relationship gives the insurance company leverage over these guys to do the job right the first time although disputes still arise . You still have avenues through the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and the Insurance Ombudsman but it’s best to sit down and talk it out to get the best result for everybody, disputes are in nobody’s best interest and can cause lengthy delays.
This whole process can take some time and some people may have coverage for relocation . You are in for a very stressful time and its important to keep your cool . The insurance builders are allocated jobs as they complete jobs so they are working to get you back on track asap but this whole process can take many months especially if the damage to your home is minor but it will get done.
Clear and open communication is the best way to navigate thru this process if you have any questions just ask it might take time to get a response but be assured you will get a response. Be patient there are likely to be many people waiting a response !