| Our home /property was damaged and contaminated with asbestos on 14/6/2013 by our neighbours fatal home explosion. His home was made of asbestos and the blast showered surrounding properties (including ours) with asbestos fragments making it unsafe to return home.
As the explosion made national news you can find/verify information regarding the incident by googling ‘Tuncurry Explosion’.
There were 4 residents/families including ours displaced on that day, 3 of which have been able to return to their homes at various times during that past 18 months. To date our home is the only property which has not been restored and we are the only residents insured with ANZ.
My son and I have been forced to relocate several times and remain in temporary rental accomodation (currently we reside in the 3rd).
The Short But Factual Version Of Our Ongoing Struggle:
- We have held ANZ Home and Contents insurance for over a decade. ANZ insurance is currently underwritten by QBE.
- We have never missed a payment, have always paid via direct debit and in fact still pay for our policies even though we haven’t been able to live there.
- ANZ insurance ceased paying our temporary accomodation leaving us with mortgage payments and temporary accomodation rent. We can’t afford to continue paying both as I am a sole parent and therefore our sole bread winner.
- ANZ have accepted our claims.
- ANZ have paid part of our contents claim, we are unsure why this hasn’t been finalised however this is of little consequence when we don’t have a home. What they did pay however was useful and has now been exhausted into our mortgage/rent payments.
- ANZ representatives advise that although my policy is ANZ Insurance, ANZ consider themselves unable to assist us?? I have asked numerous ANZ representatives (including their CEO) why they continue to choose to be underwritten by QBE when QBE are not providing the protection to their customers properties in accordance to their policies and product disclosure statements, I am yet to receive a response.
- To date my property remains contaminated and therefore deemed ‘unsuitable for residential use’.
- This fact was only proven after I fought for second opinion on the asbestos clean-up due to 2 failed attempts requiring Workcover intervention, by the insurers asbestos ‘experts’. This process took me from July 2013 – January 2014 at which time the new asbestos team confirmed the current dangerous contamination.
- In February the insurer acknowledged this outcome and committed to paying the new asbestos company to complete the clean-up however to date this has not occurred. I have begged, pleaded and complained everywhere but still no progress.
- ANZ has not apologised for the risk they placed my family in by insisting our property was safe up until I successfully proved their opinion inaccurate.
- An ANZ Insurance appointed an engineer has attended my property twice, firstly in November 2013 and again in January 2014. The engineer wrote a report after both visits and there is currently 3 scopes of work as a result of these reports. The issue with these is none of them match. Some scopes have some details, some scopes have others and some reported damage is not in any of the scopes?? I escalated these obvious issues to the insurer and received a written committment that the builders would attend with all of the scopes when quoting. Disappointingly yet predictably this did not occur resulting in the builders attending in January/February 2014 and only being able to quote on the one scope they were issued.
- The engineers report from January 2014 makes note of the fact that our home had deteriorated since his previous visit in November 2013 due to the home being unoccupied and remaining open to the elements via blown out windows not being fixed and therefore allowing in wind, water, squatters, animals, vermin etc.
- Reported deterioration November 2013 – January 2014 yet we are now in December 2014 and the insurer has done NOTHING. Obviously and unfairly our home has continued its steady but predictable deterioration.
We have resisted media contacts until recently when we agreed to tell our story as we sincerely hoped our claim would be settled fairly and privately, however we now accepted this will not be the case.
It is very humbling to ask for help and I only speak up now out of pure desperation for our financial future and wellbeing.
We know ANZ and QBE don’t care, we know we are nothing but a faceless insignificant number to them, but we hope Australians do care and will want to help us.
We are not asking for anything unreasonable. We have paid for and held our ANZ polices in good faith for many years. We simply want ANZ Insurance to step up and live up to their promises.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Should you choose to sign our petition that would be wonderful and we will be forever grateful.