When Darrell Sard evacuated from his Idalia home as the Townsville floodwaters approached, he wasn’t thinking about what he might come back to when the water subsided. At that moment, the prime focus was his family’s safety.
When the water subsided, the family would discover that both their car and home had been inundated by floodwater, and they would have to relocate while their home is rebuilt.
Mr Sard said returning to the family home was difficult. “It’s a little bit surreal – when you come back and see what you’ve lost and what’s not there.
“Initially you see the house and there’s a lot of dirt and mud. You do the initial clean out, pull up soggy carpets – essentially, you’re putting all your belongings on the footpath. We’re still processing that now,” he said.
But seeing people in action was encouraging.
“The impact of the floods created quite a bit of challenge and upheaval, but working with Suncorp, it couldn’t have been better. From day one, the morning I lodged the claim, by that afternoon they had us in emergency accommodation.
“When you’re talking about things like ‘scopes of work’, you don’t really gauge what that looks like until you start seeing things happening.”
Mr Sard and his family were in emergency accommodation for around three weeks and then needed to find something more permanent to see them through the rebuilding phase.
“Naturally it was a little bit tricky, but from an insurance perspective, the way they’ve supported us has made it seamless,” he said.
Mr Sard said the opportunity to meet with Suncorp teams and builders face-to-face through the customer forums held in Townsville after the floods, was a great initiative.
“The forums were run very professionally and were informative, especially with the access that we had to the Suncorp people, but also the building partners that were present.
“I got to meet my claims manager, so that was awesome. I’d spoken to her on the phone previously and she’s done a lot of work assisting me, so for me it was really personal.”
And while the work on Mr Sard’s home will likely take some months, the experience has reiterated the value of insurance.
“My view of insurance and knowing I’m protected has changed dramatically. The one thing this has cemented for me – and I’m happy to tell people - is that I’m a Suncorp customer for life because of my experience,” he said.
“With the vehicle that was a very straightforward process and I’m back on the road. But with the home, to know that things are being fitted out and I can come back to basically like [a] brand new home. It really gives you a sense of security that I’m with the right people and I know they’ve got your back.”