Terri Cranny at the Park Street, Yeppoon, home.
Terri Cranny at the Park Street, Yeppoon, home. Trish Bowman

Living nightmare: Coast woman loses home in insurance battle

FIRST, Terri Cranny had to endure the horror of Cyclone Marcia destroying her home of 19 years.

Then she had to watch it slowly deteriorate and fill with mould to the point where it was unliveable as she battled her insurance company.

Over two years on from the disaster, Ms Cranny is still fighting for a final outcome with CommInsure and dealing with the mental and financial strain of losing her home.

Cyclone Marcia struck just after an insurance payout for damage to Ms Cranny's home in 2014, a flood on her property which occured just months after her husband had died from a brain tumour.

Following the extensive damage to the Yeppoon house, Ms Cranny's insurance company CommInsure sent two builders out who gave quotes of $45,000 and $77,0000 respectively.

 

Park Street, Yeppoon
Park Street, Yeppoon Trish Bowman

David Keane from Solve My Claim, who has been acting on Ms Cranny's behalf in the insurance negotiations since October 2015, said neither quote covered the damage which he estimated was closer to $130,000.

Mr Keane said nothing was done to make the house safe, the roof was not covered, and damaged contents were not replaced or restored.

As further severe weather impacted Yeppoon, Ms Cranny's house continued to deteriorate.

A build up of black mould forced Ms Cranny to move out several months ago and increasing the total of her building insurance claim.

Ms Cranny said she was suffering financial hardship and fell behind on bills.

 

Windows were left permanately ajar in the house.
Windows were left permanately ajar in the house. Trish Bowman

Throughout this time, Ms Cranny said her devastation at seeing her house destroyed by Marcia was prolonged in a "never-ending, horrifying experience".

"It was like I didn't have a voice," she said of her battle to get insurance paid.

"The more weather events we had here, the less likely I was going to be able to salvage the house."

 

Park Street, Yeppoon
Park Street, Yeppoon Trish Bowman

Mr Keane took the story to southern media and last week, CommInsure paid out $20,000 to Ms Cranny as an emergency payment and on Tuesday met with her at the property along with a builder, roofer, and mould remediation technician.

Although Ms Cranny was pleased to see something happening, she was reluctant to get too excited given it could still take months for a final outcome.

A CommInsure spokesperson responed by saying it was dissapointing to hear Ms Cranny's experience was not up to the standard they work hard to provide.

"We have moved quickly to put things right," the spokesperson said.

"We care deeply about providing the best service to our customers, and while the majority receive the right experience, we know we can always work harder to ensure this is the case for all customers. We have taken immediate steps to address Ms Cranny's issue and have agreed an approach to resolve her claim."



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