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Christensen demands insurance companies explain themselves

Dawson MP George Christensen ripped into insurance companies in parliament today.
Dawson MP George Christensen ripped into insurance companies in parliament today. MICK TSIKAS

DAWSON MP George Christensen is "demanding” insurance companies and the Insurance Council of Australia come to the Whitsundays and explain themselves.

This comes as the Insurance Council of Australia has revealed that more than 80% of claims have now been closed.

Mr Christensen made the call in parliament on Monday, after hearing what he described as "appalling” cases of poor treatment from insurance companies, dragging out claims.

"I am demanding that the relevant insurance companies as well as the Insurance Council of Australia come to Airlie Beach and sit down with stakeholders to fix the problems that people are having," Mr Christensen said.

"Cyclone Debbie hit in March this year, and at the time, individual insurers and the Insurance Council of Australia assured me they would honour every claim without dragging out the process. More than six months on, there are hundreds, if not thousands of insurance claims still not settled.

"Meanwhile, people are living in damaged homes and going to work in damaged work places.

"And then, when they get back to their damaged home, they are spending hours on the phone, arguing with building assessors, engineers, and insurance companies who are putting forward undercooked scopes of works that don't come close to covering the costs of necessary repairs."

The Insurance Council of Australia General Manager of Communication Campbell Fuller said insurance companies had played an active role consulting with insurance policy holders affected from Cyclone Debbie.

"The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has been in regular contact with Mr George Christensen MP and his staff, and has dealt with a handful of issues raised,” he said.

"The ICA has organised or taken part in dozens of one-on-one meetings, community meetings and policyholder and disaster forums, speaking to policyholders to help resolve concerns or issues. 

Last week the ICA offered to meet Mr Christensen to update him on the progress with Cyclone Debbie claims. This is to coincide with another visit to the region by the ICA.”

Mr Fuller said the progress thus was about ten per cent ahead of what is achieved in the wake of other "typical catastrophes”.

Policyholders who have concerns or issues are encouraged to contact the Insurance Council of Australia's disaster hotline: 1800 734621. 

Anyone with unresolved insurance issues is encouraged to get in touch with Mr Christensen's office, by calling 4944 0662 or emailing george.christensen.mp@aph.gov.au

Topics:  cyclone debbie george christensen insurance council of australia parliament


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