Dodgy storm chasers preying on hail victims

As central Queenslanders continued to recover from last month’s ferocious hailstorm, RACQ has warned residents ‘storm chasers’ had come to town and were trying to coerce locals into lodging fraudulent insurance claims, which could push up local premiums.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said members had reported being door-knocked by storm chasers, offering to help initiate insurance claims for non-genuine roof and home repairs. 

“We saw a severe storm hit the region last month, causing plenty of grief for locals – we’ve received almost 1300 claims so far for home and car damage,” Ms Ross said.

“What’s concerning is we’re now hearing from our members storm chasers have started knocking on their doors, encouraging them to make non-genuine insurance claims.

“Previously when we’ve seen these third-party contractors target a particular region after a large storm, they’ll offer to take on the role of progressing your claim with your insurer, taking it out of your hands. Our concern is if you do accept this ‘help’, and your claim isn’t accepted by your insurer because there’s no genuine loss, you might be left to foot the bill for expensive repairs yourself.”

Ms Ross said ‘storm chasers’ had caused significant problems in other parts of Queensland in recent years, including areas like Gympie and the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

“It might seem appealing when someone knocks on your door offering to handle repairs to your home. But if a deal seems too good to be true, it generally is, and that’s certainly the case here,” she said.

“Unnecessary claims have negative consequences for everyone with home insurance because premiums can be forced up as a result. We’re committed to protecting our members with cover at the most affordable price, so we’re asking locals to please be vigilant if you’re approached by a ‘storm chaser’.”  

Ms Ross said RACQ had already assessed 70 percent of the almost 1300 claims it had received, with the team working to get cars back on the road as soon as possible. 

“We know our members just want to get back to normal, and part of that is having any hail damage to their vehicle or home fixed quickly – we’re proud we’re getting the job done.”