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Natural disasters can hit at any time. Once the immediate crisis is over, Shine Lawyers can help you to understand your legal rights and entitlements.
If you are a property or business owner and have experienced losses as a result of a natural disaster, we can help investigate your entitlements and any potential for a claim. Even if you aren’t covered under your insurance policy, in some circumstances, you may have rights against your broker.
Many insurance claims may arise out of natural disasters or catastrophic events such as:
If your property or your business has sustained damage from a natural disaster, the chances are you contacted your insurance company or broker right away – that is okay.
Unfortunately for a large majority of insurance policyholders, this is only the start of a very distressing and disruptive time as people and business owners seek to rebuild their lives.
Insurance companies will often try to argue that your property or business is not covered by your insurance policy. They will use various techniques to avoid paying you what you are rightfully entitled to.
Our Disaster Insurance Recovery team understands that you may not have the time, expertise, or resources to go head to head with your insurer or your broker. The process is often long and dealing with aggressive insurers whose only intent is to reduce their liability can be stressful and time consuming.
Our team is familiar with insurers’ strategies which are designed to wear you out. Our Disaster Insurance Recovery Team have the expertise to assist you and are prepared to help maximise your claim and recover what is owed to you as quickly as possible.
Step 1 – Policy review
The first thing we will help you with is review your policy to understand the extent of your insurance coverage. Our team has extensive knowledge of insurance policies, areas of coverage, policy definitions and interpretations – so we will know exactly what you are entitled to.
Thinking outside the box and approaching the loss from multiple angles can help in these cases. We’ll do all we can and tell you straight out what you are up against.
Step 2 – Property analysis
If required, our team will come out and investigate the physical affects to your property, allowing us to evaluate your full and true damages.
Once this investigation is complete, we will value and accurately document the detail of your case to create the foundation for a positive claim. This is done in a way that insurers will respond to.
Step 3 – Negotiation process
After your policy and your loss are reviewed and understood, negotiations with your insurer will commence, to recover all you are entitled to outside of the court process.
If an agreement can be reached with your insurer, your loss will be recovered and your claim will be resolved.
Step 4 – Legal action
In the event that a settlement cannot be negotiated with your insurer, then Shine Lawyers may initiate court proceedings on your behalf. This involves a series of steps through the court process, resulting in a solution either at a settlement conference, or in court. Only when your claim has been successfully resolved, will you have to pay our fees for the work we have done for you.
When you decide to take legal action against the insurance company, in almost all cases it will be an insurance company that will compensate you should you win the case.
The nature of a Disaster Insurance Recovery claim is to ensure you or your business is fairly compensated for a loss you have suffered. What you can claim for really depends on your policy, but our team can guide you through your entitlements.
It’s not possible to compare the compensation recovered in one claim against another claim, even where the damage to the premises is very similar. This is because the impact of the disaster on one business or property can be quite different from the impact on another.
Each disaster insurance recovery claim is carefully assessed based on the impact of the disaster on the business or property owner.
The duration of a disaster insurance recovery claim depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the claim and at what stage it’s resolved. To ensure that you’re getting the best advice about your claim, we recommend you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
In Australia, there are laws which restrict the time in which you are able to bring a disaster insurance claim forward.
In Queensland for example, the Limitations of Actions Act 1974 provides that a claim for a breach of a property insurance contract must be commenced in the courts no later than 6 years from the date the cause of action arose. However, even if this time has lapsed you should still get in contact with us as exceptions are possible.
Limitation periods differ between states so it is important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible after a catastrophic event occurs.
We will only charge a fee if we have been successful in recovering your claim (in part or full) from your insurance company. In some cases we may carry the cost of your claim.
Our team can explain in more detail how our no win no fee service works.
On Australia Day in 2013, Queensland faced their second major flood in the space of two years. Often in times of disaster people panic and don’t know who to turn to. Here are some helpful links that will get you through in this time of need.
If you have a question about Shine Lawyers or a legal matter, please feel free to contact us or call 13 11 99.