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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 44386
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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Could you please advise how I would engage The Insurance

Customer Question

Good Afternoon,
Could you please advise how I would engage The Insurance Ombudsman, as we have had two arson attacks at our unit building in one week (4/7 and 11/7). Assessors and estimators were here in the first 10 days, but repeated enquiries to our Body Corporate Management (Matthews Body Corporate) and the Insurance Brokers, Crawfords, has not yet resulted in any repairs.
Unit 1 owner, Niki Papas had her Honda Civic and all contents of her garage torched on 4/7/15. All the electrics, hot water system, plumbing, windows, window frames, remote control garage door were completely melted. The toxic black smoke came into her unit through the bathroom drains. Niki still has no hot water and she, her Mother and daughter are showering in my unit (Unit 1) and using my washing machine.
On Saturday night 11/7/15, exactly one week later, the old lady's house next door was torched. It was a miracle that a young woman neighbour rushed in and carried her out, otherwise the frail 84 year old invalid lady would have died. The police considered it attempted murder.
Further damage was sustained by our building with radiant heat, including my garage door, TV cabling, building railings; my living room window was finally replaced last Friday after we requested a visit from Qld Fire & Rescue, who were appalled that Niki's garage windows had not been boarded up the day after the fire. Two of the windows are large and waist high on a public garden path.
The police have a suspect and our situation is unique, according to a Police Liaison Officer for Victims of Crime. We are under surveillance. The whole situation has been stressful and scary knowing that there is still an arsonist out there.
The complete lack of any communication of our Insurance Company and Niki's contents insurer, Budget Direct to our predicament is appalling and is adding to our stress levels.
Any assistance you could provide wouold be appreciated.
Liz Ahrens (###) ###-####(###) ###-####
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.

Good Afternoon,

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

Are you the body Corporate? Have the insurers given you a letter confirming they will not pay out?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am the head of the building Body Corporate. We have received two quote approvals from the building company chosen by the insurance company. There were two estimators from two different building companies, and the insurance company has gone with the cheapest (surprise!). There were glaring errors in the first approval, including replacing Unit 1's hot water system with a 80 litre, in stead of 125 litre. We requested this be amended
The insurance company has not said they will not pay out, but will not go with the company we would prefer, nor have they, or the brokers been in touch with us to advise of any dates for repairs. We have not seen the second approval, or the work approved; as there were errors in the first approval, we requested perusal of the second approval, but to date this has not been forthcoming. No contact has been made with either Niki or myself by the insurance brokers since the first week after the second fire.How do we get the Insurance Company to get the repairs under way?
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.

Good Afternoon,

If the policy is a like for like they cannot replace it with a lesser item.

So the claim has been approved but you are saying that they are not complying with the policy.

If the insurer is refusing to disclose the second quotation and the first is incorrect you can complain to the Ombudsman.

If individual unit holders are incurring costs because of the insurance companies delays and avoidance in getting it done they can also claim for that.

The Insurance ombudsman is now part of the FOS and their website is as follows:

I assume that you have pointed out the issues with the quote in writing and advised the insurer to get that rectified. All of the correspondence should be put into the application to show the insurance companies delay.

I hope this makes sense and is of assistance.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please advise the amount that will be debited to my credit card for this correspondence.
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.

Good Afternoon

I am not sure as I do not deal with that part. My understanding is you elect tp pay an amount and that is what is deducted.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning,

You are very welcome and thank you for using my services.

If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know

If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback.