Qld storm victims warned of dodgy tradies

Aaron Bunch
·2-min read

Victims of Queensland's massive hailstorm have been warned to be on the lookout for 'disaster chasing' tradies offering dodgy repairs.

Insurance losses from Saturday's storm catastrophe are tipped to top $110 million, with more than 8500 claims lodged in the last 24 hours.

Fake tradies started door-knocking damaged homes just hours after a series of thunderstorms rained giant hail across the state's southeast, the Insurance Council of Australia says.

"Disaster chasers are a menace and are becoming bolder," chief executive Andrew Hall said on Monday.

"They leave many families, elderly and disabled Australians much worse off, with large bills and homes that remain badly damaged."

Mr Hall said householders should be wary of builders and tradesman offering urgent inspections or repairs for cash.

People can be left with jobs only half done, or worse, empty-handed.

He said often the so called disaster chasers don't have building licences, trade qualifications, professional indemnity insurance or even an ABN.

"Some have been known to use standover tactics to demand money or they may falsely claim they have been sent by an insurer," Mr Hall said.

But insurance companies will only pay for approved work that is covered by a policy.

"This often leaves the customer with an inflated bill that they are forced to pay,' he said.

People who suspect they may be dealing with a disaster chaser are urged to report them to the authorities.

"Identifying them will help bring them to account. And if they threaten, harass or intimidate anyone, police should be notified immediately," Mr Hall said.

It comes as insurance losses from Saturday's thunderstorms were estimated to top $110 million, with more than 8500 additional claims lodged since Sunday.

About 60 per cent of claims are for hail-damaged cars with the other 40 per cent for damage to home roofs, solar panels, windows, awnings and skylights, the Insurance Council reported.

Severe thunderstorms hammered the southeast region throughout Saturday afternoon, dropping tennis ball-sized hail on some areas.

Springfield, Rosewood, Greenbank and Boronia Heights, all south of Brisbane, were among the hardest-hit suburbs.

Ipswich City, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast were also badly affected.

Powerful hailstorms that hit Brisbane in 2014 and 2019 resulted in $1.5 billion and $504 million claim bills respectively, while a Rockhampton hail event in April caused $503 million in insured damage.