Don't let disaster strike twice: RACQ

RACQ has issued an urgent warning to members in south east Queensland impacted by the weekend’s devastating hailstorms to be on alert and not become victims of disaster chasers.

RACQ’s Renee Smith said less than 48 hours after hailstorms battered Springfield and surrounding areas door-knockers were already in the region seeking to exploit residents.

“We’ve already begun to receive reports from members of individuals and groups preying on those who’ve already suffered enough,” Ms Smith said.

“Disaster chasers target homeowners who’ve experienced severe damage and may offer immediate repairs or inspections in exchange for cash or for you signing a contract of work.

“Some disaster chasers may mislead you to believe they work for your insurance company or will promise your insurance company will reimburse the costs.

“However, if they’re unlicenced, unqualified or perform unapproved work this may not happen and the homeowner could be out of pocket thousands of dollars.”

Ms Smith said disaster chasers were also targeting owners of damaged vehicles.

“We’ve had reports of tow truck operators approaching homes where severely damaged cars are visible and offering to tow them for repairs,” she said.

“If you lodge a motor insurance claim with RACQ we will tell you who is coming to collect your vehicle and when and update you if this changes. Please don’t give you car, keys or cash to any tow truck driver who unexpectedly shows up at your door.”

Ms Smith warned members who were concerned to contact their insurer as soon as possible. 

“If your property is damaged and needs repairs, lodge your claim as soon as possible and don’t authorise or pay for any repairs without speaking to us first,” she said.

“If you believe you may have been the victim of a disaster chaser contact your insurance company, or the Insurance Council of Australia as soon as possible.”