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Insurance Forum Slated For May

By Ray White Whitsunday

Another forum for community members with on-going insurance issues will be held in Proserpine on May 14 after lobbying from the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre and the member for Dawson, George Christensen.

Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre executive officer Rebecca Woods said the event was aimed at mediating issues which continued to hold up the finalisation of insurance claims.

“The insurance companies need to be held accountable for the systemic issues facing policy holders and the only way to do that is to have them visit the region and have a very candid discussion with community leaders.”

Ms Woods said reoccurring issues she had witnessed included insurance companies “engaging unqualified, under-qualified or unregistered representatives to carry out scopes of work or structural reports”.

“(And) using those reports to deny elements or all of the claim,” she said.

“Forcing cash settlement when negotiations reach an impasse and closing the claim without the policy holder knowledge,” were issues also cited by Ms Woods.

“Cash settling against mortgages and then freezing accounts and or interest offset so as not to benefit from the settlement.

“Bullying, delaying and wearing policy holders down over time to concede to a lower cash settlement.”

In Parliament last week Mr Christensen asked for an investigation to be launched into three top insurers who he claimed had all knowingly engaged unlicensed operators to complete engineer reports.

Insurance Council of Australia spokesman Campbell Fuller said he was unaware of a forum taking place in May but had been invited to attend a session in April by Mr Christensen.

Mr Fuller said the ICA would consider attending a insurance forum in May if a “formal request” was forthcoming.

Locals are urged to contact Rebecca Woods or email Mr Christensen if they continued to have issues with insurance claims.

Source: Whitsunday Times.

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