Understand how to protect yourself when making an insurance claim.
David Keane, customer advocate and director of Solve My Claim, helps us understand some specific terminology in your insurance policy, and also how to protect yourself when making an insurance claim.
In November, 2008, my husband and I (and our house) went through The Gap storms. A big Silky Oak fell on our roof and cracked it open. I was 4 months pregnant with our second bub, and our eldest was 17 months old.
I remember standing in the hallway watching the rain attacking the home horizontally. I was holding my son, and trying to figure out where in the house the safest place was to stand. I’d never seen a storm like it.
Water poured through window heads. And then we heard a huge crack from one end of the house as the silky oak fell over our roof, and broke a hole in it above our bedroom. Water poured through the hole in our ceiling, over our bed, and then through the floorboards into the garage below (destroying tools and building materials). Water broke through mortar between the block below-ground wall structure to the back of our garage, and the brick wall of the house that sat on top of it.
Three days later, the additional storms we got flooded the home. The ground was just too sodden to take any more water, and our backyard filled up like a pool, and water flowed in under the sliding door tracks.
Then ensued a 13 month battle with our insurer debating what was ‘flood damage’, what was ‘water damage’, what was damage made by a ‘storm-created opening’. We finally settled for 5X what they initially offered … it was the difference between $20,000 and $100,000.
Frankly, the initial claim settlement offer was ludicrous. They covered the bedding and bed that had been drenched below the hole in the ceiling, but not the repair to the hole or the ceiling fan that had fallen out.
We were so fortunate to find a retired engineer who helped us navigate our submission to the ombudsman. And he also provided forensic structural advice to contradict the report done by the insurance company’s structural engineer.
The stress was beyond anything I’d experienced. We really felt each step was an attempt to wear us down and settle for what we were being offered. My hubby and I both seemed to alternate being stubborn and not wanting to back down, so we just kept going.
And for years and years after, my hubby and I would go into battle stations mode any time a storm was approaching. It’s only been since moving to our property in the Byron Hinterland 6 years ago, where rain and storms mean full rainwater tanks, full creeks and great grass growth in the paddocks, that an oncoming storm doesn’t send us into action mode anymore.
David Keane started Solve My Claim in 2014 after realising people in this situation often had nowhere to turn. For David, this is about levelling the playing field, and about providing social justice at times when people really need it.
Having worked inside the insurance industry for so many years, David got fed up with seeing it unfairly handle people’s claims, and then what that would mean for the long term livelihood and lifestyle of those impacted.
In an industry full of jargon and specific processes, it can be unnerving for anyone tackling it for the first time, especially when they have lost their entire home and belongings.
And so, Solve My Claim provides support and fairness for those struggling with their insurance claims. They use their knowledge of how insurance policies work to argue for those making claims. And they’ve achieved more than $35 million worth of increased claim settlements in the past 3 years alone.
In Part 3 of our conversation, David will help us understand some specifics about your insurance policy so you know what you’re entitled to.
And what to do about getting independent information to check what you’re being offered is fair.
And, we discuss the steps straight after you’re dealing with damage and loss, so you can notify your insurer as required PLUS get you ducks in a row as well.
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE NOW.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:
Solve My Claim
Website >> https://solvemyclaim.com.au/
Facebook >> https://www.facebook.com/solvemyclaim/
The free Facebook groups they have >> SOLVE MY CLAIM FACEBOOK GROUPS
Instagram >> https://www.instagram.com/solvemyclaim/