Why are we still waiting?

Flood victims Teresa and Tom Bliesner are a long way off being back in their home despite being insured.
Flood victims Teresa and Tom Bliesner are a long way off being back in their home despite being insured. Rob Williams

A DEVASTATED Karalee family is still waiting to move back into their home eight months after it was gutted by floodwaters.

Teresa and Tom Bliesner say they have been with ANZ insurance since 1993 and had flood cover.

But since their house at Karalee was inundated in January, they are still waiting for ANZ to finalise their claim.

Mr Bliesner said he filed two formal complaints, wrote a letter to the ANZ chief executive and made countless phone calls and emails.

"It's now mid-September with another big wet season on the way," Mr Bliesner said.

"Our next-door neighbour has Suncorp insurance and was in her house more than a month ago.

"The house's interior is the same as it was when we cleaned it up in January.

"We have been patient and missed out on government help because we were insured. We have two children and are being forced to rent at Camira.

"Our insurance policy covers 12 months' rent and that's just about run out.

"We've got two kids at a private school and a mortgage on a house you're not even living in."

He said that, in August, ANZ finally said they would finalise their claim but that became mired in disputes over builders.

"They sent us an approval a month ago and nothing has happened since," he said. "Even still, that took them seven months.

"If they don't want our builder, we just want them to pay us so we can do it ourselves."

Visiting their Voyager Dr home was a gut-wrenching experience for Mr and Mrs Bliesner.

Once a lively family home, now it's a lifeless skeleton.

Tom comes back every fortnight to mow the lawn. He says he's used to the smell. Teresa notices the rank odour of lingering mud.

"This is the same as we walked away from on January 17. It was a beautiful home," Mrs Bliesner said with tears welling in her eyes.

"All we want is our lives back. We've got two kids and they just want to come home.

"We just want to get paid out and we will do the work ourselves." After questions about the long delay in settling Mr and Mrs Bliesner's claim and their difficulty in getting answers, ANZ Insurance responded.

It sent the Queensland Times a long list of correspondence between the company and the Bliesners.

It also sent an offer it had just made of a cash settlement subject to agreement by Suncorp, which holds the mortgage on their house.

"Regrettably the settlement of this claim has taken longer than expected due to building scope changes and various required builder quotes and builder issues," the spokesman said.

"ANZ Insurance paid the contents insurance claim in March and has paid ongoing temporary accommodation costs since claim lodgement in January.

"ANZ Insurance and its assessors have had ongoing correspondence with the insured and the various building companies through this period.

"This has led to our agreement with the insured to cash settle this claim subject to agreement with the mortgagor."

Topics:  anz floods home insurance insurance claim

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