Insurance Claim Settled after 2020 Londonderry Flood

Jack Leitner represented a husband and wife with respect to their insurance claim matter, securing a full payout of our clients’ claim. After several days of significant rainfall in March 2020, our clients’ property was flooded, leaving behind a trail of home and contents damage.  To add insult to injury, our clients’ insurer constantly delayed and mishandled our clients’ claim leaving our clients to approach Australian Lawyers and Advocates to assist.

The Event in Londonderry, NSW

In March 2020, parts of Sydney were hit with torrential rain. Our client’s semi-rural property in Londonderry on the outskirts of Sydney was inundated with flood waters, leaving a trail of damage and destruction to their home and contents. Our clients made an insurance claim with their insurer shortly after the flooding incident and the assessment process commenced. What followed thereafter was a tale of delay, bungles and mishandling of our client’s claim by our clients’ insurer. Our clients’ claim was continuously passed around between different claims officers, information sought was provided only for other claims officers to again seek the same information and the claims process was significantly and unnecessarily prolonged by the insurer.

After a period of over 12 months of delay and inaction by our clients’ insurer, our clients approached Australian Lawyers and Advocates to advocate and assist in dealing with the insurance company on their behalf.

Escalation to the Customer Relations Team

After conducting an initial perusal and assessment of the history of our clients’ claim, a determination was made to escalate the progress of our clients’ claim to the Customer Relations Team of our clients’ insurer. Sporadic requests and requisitions were made for further information by the insurer to determine our client’s claim. With the assistance of Mr. Leitner, these requisitions were promptly answered by our clients. Mr. Leitner also created a single schedule of loss with supporting evidence which was provided to the insurer to avoid the insurer continuously seeking requests for information previously provided to them by our client. The insurer’s poor handling of our clients’ claim continued with our clients’ matter again being passed around to various staff in the Customer Relations Team, causing a further delay in the processing and finalisation of our clients’ claim.

Escalation and Complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority

The insurer’s continued mishandling and delay in assessing and processing our clients’ claim resulted in Mr. Leitner referring our clients’ matter to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. Referring our clients’ matter to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority Ombudsman was a cheaper and more efficient manner to expedite our clients’ insurance claim, rather than resorting to unnecessary, expensive and time-consuming litigation approaches through courts and tribunals.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution scheme which considers complaints about financial products and services such as:

  • Credit, finance and loans
  • Insurance
  • Banking deposits and payments
  • Investment and financial advice
  • Superannuation

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority is an alternative to tribunals and courts to resolve complaints consumers and small businesses have with their financial firms.

Resolution of Insurance Claim

The pending complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority placed pressure on our clients’ insurer to escalate their efforts to finalise their assessment and processing of our clients’ insurance claim. Further Customer Relations Officers were appointed to our clients’ matter and Mr. Leitner liaised with our clients’ insurer in respect of any further information and requisitions sought by the insurer in respect of their processing of this claim. Our clients’ insurer made an offer to settle our clients’ home and contents claim for an amount of $36,313.00 and offered to waive our clients’ excess in the sum of $1000.00.

The insurer’s offer of settlement was rejected, and Mr. Leitner undertook further negotiations with our clients’ insurer as to their claim in light of the evidence provided to the insurance company. As a result of further negotiations, our clients’ insurer was persuaded to pay out the entirety of our clients’ claim in the sum of $48,223.78, with an additional payment of $1000.00 payable to our clients to cover the excess otherwise payable by them.

Outcome of Insurance Claim

Having already suffered heartbreaking losses to their property and damage to their home, our clients’ pains were further exacerbated by the conduct of their insurance company. Thankfully, our clients engaged Australian Lawyers and Advocates to act on their behalf to avoid dealing with the unsatisfactory conduct of their insurance company and to be their voice in dealing with them.

Our clients were very relieved to have had their claim finally paid out in full after their battle with their insurance company without the need to resort to expensive and time consuming litigation. This case highlights the importance of engaging lawyers who will advocate on your behalf with respect to your matter.  Our reputation and results speak for themselves, and this case is another example of our ability to obtain the best outcomes for our clients.


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