Insurance delays the latest blow

ALMOST two months after a tornado ravaged Lennox Head some residents are still waiting for insurance claims to come through so they can start rebuilding their homes and their lives.

John Murray and his family have not been able to live in their home since the tornado hit.

However, he said claiming on his insurance was a ‘slow and frustrating process’.

“I’ve just had to realise that it’s going to take a long time,” he said.

“But in a way we’re lucky. We’ve got a roof over our heads somewhere else. We’ve got a place to live.

“The rest of it will fall in to place.”

For the Murrays the initial trauma is over, but their lives are still unsettled.

“Our two young girls are very unsettled. They’re scared of the rain now,” Mr Murray said.

“So we’re trying to deal with all of that and we still have to worry about the insurance.”

Their first assessment came through two weeks ago, but Mr Murray said the scope of works was not right and the contents insurance was incomplete.

“We’re still trying to finalise the assessment, so at this stage we can’t even get any quotes,” he said.

“We think we will be able to repair our home.

“But it could be another six months before that happens, or another 12 months if we have to completely rebuild.

“In the meantime we are trying to keep things as normal as possible for the girls.”

Richard and Janet McCoy’s Stewart Street home was also badly damaged in the tornado. They lost their roof and both levels of the home had extensive water damage.

However, they’ve got nothing but praise for their insurance company.

“We’re going to have to rebuild a lot, but our insurance company has been excellent,” Mrs McCoy said.

“A cheque for our contents has already come through, which has helped, and they are paying our rent for 12 months while the rebuilding work is done.

“We had a really good insurance policy.

“It probably wasn’t the cheapest premium, but it has paid off for us.

“But we still have absolutely no idea when we can move back into our home. The sooner the better.”

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