Consumer agencies can help with a wide range of issues you may face after a crisis, such as rental properties, repairs, insurance and disruptions to travel plans.
There are some things you need to know about your rights and obligations in the event of a crisis such as a storm, flood or fire.
Fake fundraisers, also known as charity scams, have taken advantage of the public’s generosity and kindness in the aftermath of disastrous events. Look out for fake fundraisers, and make sure that your donations are going to a legitimate charity.
- How to donate wisely – SCAMwatch
- Licensed charities in South Australia – charities.sa.gov.au
- Crisis factsheet: Fundraising scam (PDF 104KB)
Sometimes after natural disasters have occurred and residents start to return home to clean up, consumers report increases in the prices of basic goods (e.g. petrol and groceries).
Ask the trader to explain price increases that seem excessive or unreasonable. If you are not satisfied with the trader’s response, you can lodge a complaint with Consumer and Business Services (CBS).
Repairs and rebuilding
Beware of travelling con-men that turn up as tradespeople and demand cash up front for repairs or cleaning.
Before you start any repairs or rebuilding work, contact your insurer to check that you are covered. Make sure that the builder or tradesperson you hire is licensed
Travel and holiday arrangements
If you are facing disruption or cancellation of your travel plans, you should contact your airline or other travel provider for the latest information.
Know your rights in relation to refunds, rescheduling, travel insurance claims and damage to rental vehicles.
Insurance and loans
If you have difficulty meeting loan repayments after being affected by a disaster, banks, building societies and credit unions have financial hardship arrangements. Visit the Moneysmart website for information about the options available if you are struggling to pay your credit cards, utility bills and other loans.
Insurance claims due to damage
If you have insurance, contact your insurer to make a claim before you start any major repairs. Your insurer will have a copy of your policy. Visit the Moneysmart website for information about home and contents cover and what to do after a disaster.