15 June 2012

Insurers alert policyholders to scam targeting storm victims

Western Australian policyholders in regions affected by the recent storms should remain cautious of scam artists reportedly doorknocking storm-damaged neighbourhoods claiming to represent insurers and demanding cash for clean up and repair services.

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Rob Whelan says being aware of the potential for insurance scams can protect you from becoming a storm victim twice.

“Policyholders who are unexpectedly approached by contractors or assessors offering repair services, insisting they were sent by an insurance company, should immediately ask for identification, and contact their insurer for verification if doubts remain,” Mr Whelan said.

“Policyholders should not authorise repairs or make any form of payment until satisfied the contractor or assessor has been appointed by an insurer.

“If a claimant is unsure about the repair process, they can contact their insurance company and seek advice about the process under their policy.”

The ICA recommends policyholders:
• Make contact with your insurance company and seek advice about the repairsprocess under your policy
• Contractors and assessors authorised by insurers will normally notify customers in advance before repairs or inspections are scheduled to take place. If unexpectedly approached by a contractor or assessor, ask to see credentials, and if you are not satisfied contact your insurance company to make sure they are appointed by your insurer
• If you remain suspicious ask to see the contractor or assessors’ driver's licence and write down the licence number and their vehicle's licence plate number
• Do not hand over any form of payment directly to a contractor or assessor requesting cash unless authorised by your insurer to do so

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