Repossessed trucks get second life from floods

Repossessed trucks are in demand as replacements for vehicles damaged by Queensland's floods

Repossessed trucks get second life from floods
Repossessed trucks get second life from floods
By Ruza Zivkusic | January 19, 2010

Repossessed trucks will soon have a second life as insurance companies brace for mass purchases for their flood-affected transport clients.

Transcorp Managing Director Mick Byrne believes many companies, including his, will buy trucks from auction yards to replace their clients’ damaged trucks.

"Our intention is to have our claims done in less than a month," Byrne says.

James Chauncy, from Pickles Auction in Sydney, expects to see a surge of truck purchases once the clean-up of flood-affected areas is over.

"It will take a couple of weeks to sort out and there will be a shortage of machinery and trucks," Chauncy says.

Byrne is urging transport companies affected by the disaster to notify insurers as soon as possible so claims are settled quickly.

"Too few of them have the cover that they need, which is a business interruption insurance policy. It’s generally considered to be too much extra cost and most of my customers didn’t take it out even though it was available; they’re in serious financial strife," he says.

Byrne says the policy allows operators to hire a replacement truck to keep their businesses going while they find a suitable replacement.

All of Byrne’s clients were covered for flood damage because it was automatically included in the policy.

He wants clients to take up business interruption insurance or extend the policy to hiring a replacement truck while theirs are off the road.

"We can replace the trucks very quickly, the biggest truck auction yard is in Newcastle and we can get replacement trucks for our clients that are damaged by floods in a matter of days."

Truckies Online editor and the principle of Truck Insurance Australia, Ray Playle, says many trucking companies are already frustrated by the service of insurance companies.

"I was talking to a guy yesterday, the insurance company asked him about the rain and where it came from, he said, "Up from the sky". It’s becoming damn ridiculous that insurance companies aren’t helping their clients, they’re just holding off at the moment hoping not to pay the insurance out," Playle says.

"This is the hypocrisy of it all, it’s a complete mess.

"Until the companies who have trucks insured do something about it proactively, the truckies aren’t going to get back on the road quickly; they need to be on the road now."

Playle says there are drivers who are unable to meet their financial commitments due to the floods.

"A truckie is a truckie, every hour that’s expired is costing them money and they’ll never recoup that," he says.

Playle says there are drivers stranded on the side of road waiting for floodwaters to recede, with mobile phones as their only contact with family.

Byrne believes there is no reason to prolong payouts as most companies cover flood damages.

"I’d be astounded if I hear any bad stories in regards to claims. I know for a fact it didn’t happen during the Victorian bushfires," he says.

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