HOMELESS: Kellie Hancock with her children Trinitie, 12, and Charlie, 4, at their storm-damaged Teralba home AAMI has refused to replace. Picture: Simone De PeakTHERE’S one thing stopping Kellie Hancock from rebuilding and starting anew after the Hunter super storms wiped out her Teralba home –her insurer.
It’s been more than a year since the storms swept through, but Ms Hancock still finds herself in the same dark place, bereft of certainty, as when the lights went out that remarkable night.
Her marriage has broken down, her kids have shifted from bed to bed and, adding insult to injury, insurance giant AAMI has refused toreplace the home.
Ms Hancock said AAMI would only offer $132,000 despite a $450,000 cost of rebuilding.
She said the insurer blames pre-existing conditions, citing a building report that says the home is “out of plumb”.
“I was never led to believe there was an issue with the building nor did I for a second think AAMI would forgo their obligations,” Ms Hancock said.
“They sign you up, you pay your premiums all those years and you’d think they’d do the right thing.”
Ms Hancock has about a month before her temporary accommodation expires.
OUT OF HOME: Kellie Hancock’s Teralba home was in the path of destruction during last year’s Hunter super storms. Picture: Simone De Peak
AAMI would not comment specifically on the case, citing privacy considerations, but said it “highlights the importance” of a well-maintained home.
The builder’s report said the home was out of level “in many areas and has been this way for a long time”.
“In the event of an insurance claim needed to be lodged for damage (whether it be from a storm or some other incident), a well-maintained home will ensure the assessment and repair process is progressed quickly,” an AAMI spokeswoman said.
Ms Hancock scoffed at the suggestion AAMI was not liable.
“They knew that this house – and every other house in Teralba – was built on land affected by mine subsidence,” she said.
“Why do they raise this now when we need their help the most?”
Ms Hancock realises AAMI is likely toprevail.
“But I want to use it as a warning to others to be mindful of insurance companies,” she said.
“No one should end up in my situation, it’s truly horrible and my worst fear not being able to put a roof over my children’s head.”