ICA issues scam warning

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Scam artists are posing as builders and insurance assessors in the wake of the massive storm that tore through Sydney last month, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has warned.

Insurers have received calls from policyholders who have been door-knocked by scammers demanding cash for clean-up, inspection and repair services, the council said.

Rob Whelan, ICA CEO, said that raising awareness throughout the insurance community can help save policyholders from becoming scam- as well as storm victims.

“This racket is generally carried out by travelling conmen and woman who typically target elderly residents. They often claim to represent the insurance company and pressure the householder for money to inspect the roof,” Whelan said.

Whelan explained that other scammers would offer special repair deals, demanding cash up front, and leaving the job unfinished or poorly completed.

These unauthorised works could also impact policyholders’ insurance as they may not be covered for such work.

Brokers should advise clients that have been impacted by the recent storms to remain vigilant.

If a client is approached by someone claiming to represent an insurer, contact the insurance company to check their identity.

“Never agree to repairs that you may wish to lodge an insurance claim for without first checking with your insurer,” Whelan continued.

So far, insured losses from the hailstorms have risen to $328 million with 50,192 claims lodged.

Related stories:
Suncorp, IAG count costs of storms
Sydney storm declared catastrophe

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