Leading insurer AAMI has completed 40 per cent of car claims and paid more than $30 million to customers in the three months following the catastrophic hailstorm that hit Sydney and the Central Coast in December.
AAMI, and other Suncorp insurance brands such as GIO, APIA and Shannons, had received over 26,000 motor claims following the storm, which was estimated to have caused more than $1.189 billion* in total damage across the State.
Head of Claims Michael Miller said the insurer is on track to have 80 per cent of cars scheduled for repair completed by the end of July.
“The pace of our response has been faster than any other similar hail storm,” Mr Miller said.
In the days following the December storm, the insurer established six motor vehicle assessment and repair centres to quickly assess and triage all hail-affected vehicles to make the repair process as seamless and efficient as possible.
“We continually look to improve how we respond to natural catastrophes and some new initiatives have meant we’ve been able to make good progress in supporting our customers through these storms,” he said.
“Sydney was again hit by hail only a few weeks ago, so these extra claims are now coming in. To date we’ve already booked in 94 per cent of these customers’ cars to be assessed and then repaired.
“I would like to thank our customers for their patience as we continue to work to get them back on the road in their repaired vehicle as soon as possible.”
AAMI, and the Suncorp network, partnered with hail repair specialists Wizard and the Australian Hail Network to boost capacity and ensure all repairs are done to the highest standards, backed by a Life Time Guarantee.
“Our repairers are doing a great job in delivering a high-quality and safe response,” Mr Miller said.
“Our customers have trusted our Life Time Guarantee for over 20 years. With over 20,000 vehicles to be repaired it is a big commitment we stand by 100 per cent.
“We are focused on making sure we communicate and get our customers to the right place at the right time, making the whole process as smooth as possible.”
Since January the insurer has also held six community forums in Berowra, one of the worst affected communities.
“All customers with damaged homes in this hard-hit area were invited to meet with our claims team so we could provide an update on progress, address any queries or concerns, as well as allow customers to discuss their claims with their dedicated client manager, assessor and builder, face-to-face,” Mr Miller said.
“We need to communicate better and be more transparent, so we took the initiative to invite customers to speak directly with us in person to help them through the process.
“We are making good progress with over 96 per cent of home assessments complete and we are aiming to have 80 per cent of repairs commenced or finalised by the end of April. Almost half of home repairs are already finalised or underway, and we’ve injected more than $41 million into the economy through payments to customers, builders and suppliers.
“The damage caused is significant and the repairs will take some time, but we’ll be with our customers every step of the way.”
*Source: Insurance Council of Australia