We deal with disasters on a daily basis, but what can be forgotten is that we can sometimes be affected by such events ourselves.

Wendy Hayden, a Senior Policy Researcher, has been part of the LMI family since 2005. Her family and community experienced the full force of nature during the wild Queensland Storms last weekend. She wrote about her experience and the experience of those close to her.

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Wendy’s Story

As you will have seen on the news, Queensland was hit by a massive hail storm on Saturday afternoon. I live in Springfield QLD, and our suburb was the hardest hit, along with the neighbouring Springfield Lakes. Although we had quite large hailstones, we didn’t sustain any major damage; just some dents in the roof over our pergola and in the shed. We were very lucky, as we must have been on the edge of the storm.

That morning, my son and I had moved everything that was in the open (that we could) under cover to avoid potential damage. My husband was working Saturday and didn’t finish his shift until that Wednesday, so we hadn’t yet at the time of my writing this had a chance to have a comprehensive look at the damage.

The Damage from the Ground.

Cars out in the street were totalled, windows/windscreens/rear windows smashed and all panels damaged. My car was in the garage and my son’s car was undercover at the local shopping centre as he was at work. He waited out the storm, and when he left the shopping centre there was not one car parked outside that didn’t have some kind of damage; the shopping centre itself had even had some glass panels damaged!

Our friends haven’t been as lucky though. One family had both cars totalled, and their tiled roof was smashed leading to water entering the house; others have had to call on services such as the SES to help them.

Storm damage with ceiling collapsed

What next?

One of our friends was living in a rental while their new house is being built. Not only were their cars totalled but the ceiling filled with water and collapsed on top of her (luckily, she was ok). She has been issued with an eviction order by her real estate agent, having to get out yesterday as it was unsafe. The agent said they didn’t have anywhere else that they could rent meaning they don’t have anywhere to live.

My friend asked her insurer if she is covered for temporary accommodation or emergency storage of contents. They said no in both cases… I looked at her PDS along with the insurers website and unfortunately her insurer only pays temporary accommodation under contents for strata titled properties. While I am looking into the coverage afforded by the policy and working with insurers my friend is totally devastated, and goes to show the importance of selecting the right policy.

I thought I would attach some photos. The only one that applies to us are the hailstones in the bowl (the ball is a table tennis ball).

I think it’s going to take a long time for the suburb to recover.

Wendy Hayden,

Senior Policy Researcher (PolicyComparison)