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Flood victims still awaiting final decision on claims

HELL AND BACK: Coral Larsen is seeking $100,000 from her insurers and her case is now before the Financial Ombudsman.
HELL AND BACK: Coral Larsen is seeking $100,000 from her insurers and her case is now before the Financial Ombudsman. Claudia Baxter

MORE than 100 flood cases are still before the Financial Ombudsman Service from the 2011 floods, with Fernvale's Coral Larsen one of those still waiting on a decision.

Ms Larsen and husband Kevin had their home and Larsen's Warm Climate Bulbs nursery business wiped out by the deluge.

That was the start of their battle with Calliden Insurance.

The Larsens have a claim of more than $100,000 for home and contents still pending, with only $11,000 being paid out.

The ombudsman visited the Larsens last week but gave no final decision, with a panel set to make the final ruling in three weeks.

"We are still in limbo - like we have been for the past 22 months," Ms Larsen said.

"The ombudsman said our case has got to go before a panel and it will be approximately three weeks before we hear anything."

The insurance company ruled the flooding was caused by river water, but the Larsens say they evidence to suggest their damage was the result of storm water.

"We gave them as much evidence as we possibly could. We showed them 248 photos," Ms Larsen said.

"We've had a couple of wins. They admitted the hydrologist report had changed for our area - more in our favour. The senior hydrologist was here and admitted there was stormwater in the house."

A Legal Aid Queensland spokesperson said that of the 563 files opened for clients affected by the 2011 floods, 111 are currently before the Financial Ombudsman Service with 45 of those from the Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Toowoomba regions

"Once the decision comes it does mean that we can move on," Ms Larsen said.

"We haven't been able to do any repairs because we had to leave the evidence of the flood there. Mentally it has been a rollercoaster ride.We have come out much stronger people, but we have been to hell and back in the meantime."

Topics:  business flood victims insurance money


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