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Anybody driving via Sylvania in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire in current months would probably have noticed a handpainted banner on the aspect of the street in big, brilliant crimson letters studying, “COLES HOME INSURANCE I’M STILL WAITING …”

The unmissable signal, hanging from steel fencing in entrance of a fire-damaged property on the busy Princes Freeway, was even adorned with plastic skeletons for Halloween — one holding a cellphone, simply to drive dwelling the purpose.

“You wouldn’t think you’d get treated like s**t paying a policy for so long,” mentioned Damian Palisi. “I’ve been here for over 25 years, my kids were brought up here.”

For almost six months, the 58-year-old has been pressured to stay in a “cockroach-infested” motel simply up the street whereas being left in limbo by Coles Insurance coverage, which he says has refused to pay out his dwelling and contents coverage.

“I rang the insurance company today — I’ve had enough,” he advised information.com.au on Monday. “I woke up with a f**king cockroach on my face today.”

Mr Palisi says the signal — which attracted attention online this week — was painted by his daughter as a public protest.

“I’m about to add to it very soon,” he mentioned. “It’s going to be ‘Slow, Slack, Dangerous’. It’s wrong what they have done — all I want is my home. I have been treated with that much disrespect.”

In August final yr, Mr Palisi was asleep on the lounge when he woke to a “banging and crackling” outdoors. His spa had caught hearth throughout the evening, with the pergola and again of the home quickly engulfed in flames.

The previous boat repairer suffered burns and smoke inhalation making an attempt to place out the hearth, which rendered the home uninhabitable and left asbestos dangerously uncovered.

In accordance with Mr Palisi, Coles Insurance coverage has “done f**king nothing” to safe the asbestos or start restore work as a result of the corporate — after inspecting the positioning and seeing dozens of boat motors strewn concerning the yard — accused him of operating his enterprise from the property, voiding his coverage.

“[It’s] because I’ve got too much s**t here,” he mentioned.

However Mr Palisi insists he was pressured to close down his boat restore enterprise in 2017 because of accidents from being knocked off his scooter in a hit-and-run accident at Taren Level.

“So I sold a lot of crap and kept what I wanted to keep,” he mentioned.

“I’m a bit of a hoarder as you can see. All of these are mine. I do admit it looks like a boatyard, but they’re my bits of s**t. They reckon I’ve been running a business from here but that’s not true — all of these motors have been here for five years, nothing really has moved. You look at Google Earth and the same s**t’s here. If I was doing business it’d be different boats and this and that.”

He now does boat transport for a residing — however insists none of his enterprise is performed from the property.

Mr Palisi, who estimates the overall restore invoice shall be round $300,000 to $400,000, has been ready for a ultimate willpower from Coles Insurance coverage for greater than five-and-a-half months.

He says he has co-operated absolutely with the insurer’s investigation to show he was not operating a enterprise, forking out greater than $15,000 in authorized charges up to now, however nonetheless can’t get a solution.

“I’ve been open and honest, I let them look at everything,” he mentioned.

“They wanted my code to get into Facebook so they could see all my messages, they wanted phone records, SMS records, income records, my BAS, they wanted profit and loss, everything to do with my business. My business is out on the road — I go and pick up boats from the water and bring them to wherever they’ve got to go, it’s got nothing to do with here.”

Even after receiving the hearth investigation report earlier this month “they still won’t give us an answer, yes or no, if they’re going to pay”.

Within the month after the hearth, Mr Palisi mentioned the insurer would “basically do nothing” and the stress put him again in hospital. “I’m on the phone stressing at them and ended up with really bad chest pains,” he mentioned.

“I went to the hospital and ended up having five bypasses.”

Within the months since, nothing has been carried out to scrub up the injury or correctly safe the asbestos. “I’ve been ringing them up about it, they wouldn’t talk to me,” he mentioned.

“Eventually I got onto the people that did the make-safe, that cut off the electricity. They sprayed this with glue and paint that lasts for seven to 10 days [to keep the asbestos down], but it’s been going everywhere for ages. They left it exposed since the day of the fire. It puts other people in danger. Asbestos has washed down here on rainy days out past the footpath. It’s just so bad.”

Mr Palisi claimed Coles Insurance coverage, which is underwritten by IAG — the nation’s largest normal insurer — “said they wouldn’t spend a cent on anything until it’s approved”.

“I wanted to pay and get it all removed [but] Coles said you’re not to touch anything,” he mentioned.

“The only reason this got covered is because of me calling Midcity Group, they came out, they rang Coles and said you’re breaking this rule, you’re breaking that rule.”

He blasted the insurer as “dangerous to people”.

“This asbestos issue and what they have done — it’s against the asbestos legislation, it’s against the insurance code,” he mentioned. “They do what they want to do.”

Coles Insurance coverage directed enquiries to IAG.

In a press release on Thursday, a spokesman for IAG mentioned its “focus is helping our customers get back on their feet as quickly as possible and we’re dedicated to providing our customers with immediate support and the most efficient claims experience possible”.

“When assessing claims, we may need to review the circumstances of a claim in more detail before providing a final decision,” he mentioned.

“Following the fire, arrangements were immediately made for a make-safe repair at the customer’s home to ensure it was safe and secure, and that there was no loose asbestos at the property. We also arranged for a hygienist to inspect the property and provided temporary accommodation for our customer.”

He added, “The team has been in regular contact with our customer to finalise all the necessary information required, some of which has been recently received. We’re in the process of reviewing this information and will provide a further update to the customer as soon as possible.”

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Initially printed as ‘Treated like s**t’: Fed-up homeowner takes aim at Coles Insurance with huge sign on busy road

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