27 September 2023

‘Claims farmers’ flooding in on victims

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Flood-affected Queenslanders are being warned to be aware of ‘claims farmers’ who often crop up in the wake of disasters to offer assistance with insurance claims.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said these firms were sometimes also known as ‘claims management services’ and would act as a go-between for a person or business and their insurance company, offering to do the leg work on their insurance claim for a fee.

“We want Queenslanders to be protected, understand the risks and not fall victim to agreements they signed during what is a stressful time,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Many of these ‘claims farmers’ entice customers to use their services by offering a free inspection, promising your claim will go to the front of the queue or promising a guaranteed cash settlement,” she said.

“Sadly, we have also heard of cases where Queenslanders have been given the impression the person is from Government or acting on a law firm’s behalf.”

The Attorney-General said it was important for Queenslanders to know they did not need to use a third party to assist with an insurance claim, as they could deal directly with their insurer.

“If you are thinking about signing up to a claims management service, it’s so important you understand the risks,” she said.

“And importantly, you should not sign anything which prevents you from dealing directly with your insurer, broker, financial adviser or your own lawyer.”

Ms Fentiman said risks of dealing with a claims farmer included: The firm seeking a cash settlement as resolution; The firm unreasonably inflating the claim to increase their own fee; If there were problems with the civil contract with a claims management service, it could end up in court.

The Attorney-General said any Queenslander concerned about the conduct of a claims management service or claims farmer should contact the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) on phone 1300 300 630.

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