Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has put insurance companies on notice for showing favouritism to fly-in hail repair companies over hardworking local businesses in Central Queensland after an unexpected hail storm on Sunday 19th April 2020.
Ms Landry said that while motorists have filed insurance claims with their respective insurer, insurers are doing the wrong thing and bringing in fly-in businesses from the South East corner of Queensland and allocating repair work to them over established local businesses.
“With two new hail damage repair businesses opening directly across the road from my office in Rockhampton, it really shows the lengths fly-in businesses will go to take work from local businesses.
“I’ve been told that two additional repair businesses have opened in McLaughlin Street in North Rockhampton where they did not originally have a presence.
“I have also been told some repair businesses have been directly approaching motorists with damaged vehicle regardless of whether they have filed an insurance claim or not.
“Local businesses have been disadvantaged during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and they have restricted trade to comply with social isolation orders.
“The conduct of fly-in repair businesses not only violate social isolation orders, but they are taking away the business local operators have come to rely on during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Landry said she has sent a letter to Insurance Council of Australia outlining her concerns and asking them to intervene on behalf of Central Queensland businesses.
“I am asking The Insurance Council of Australia to lobby insurers in Queensland to ensure local repairers are prioritised over fly-in operators and undertake tangible action to prevent this occurring in the future after natural disasters.”