'Not fit for a human to live in': Lola still waiting on insurer

Lola Fletcher's Barrack Heights unit was flooded last month. Pictures: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Lola Fletcher's Barrack Heights unit was flooded last month. Pictures: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

• Heavy rains hit the South Coast - photos

Pensioner forced out by damage from flood

Lola Fletcher was pushed out of her home by last month's floods, which destroyed her carpet and damaged furniture in her Barrack Heights unit.

The 83-year-old said the stench of the floods and her fragile health had made the unit unlivable.

The Mercury visited Mrs Fletcher's home and noticed the mud caught in her door and a suffocating smell throughout the unit.

Despite the ruin, she said insurance companies had not helped her find a new place to stay until her home was repaired.

"It's not fit for a human to live in; the unit is in a disgusting state," she said.

Mrs Fletcher says insurance companies have not done enough to help her find a temporary place to live.

Mrs Fletcher says insurance companies have not done enough to help her find a temporary place to live.

Mrs Fletcher lodged an insurance claim with NRMA and QBE through Body Corporate Services but because of uncertainty over whether common property was damaged, she hasn't been rehoused temporarily.

Mrs Fletcher said that if common property was deemed damaged enough to make residency untenable, QBE was responsible for finding her temporary accommodation.

But it has been three weeks since the flood and Mrs Fletcher is still waiting for a result.

Body Corporate Services relodged her claim on Wednesday with a doctor's certificate indicating Mrs Fletcher's health had suffered since the floods.

Mrs Fletcher said she contracted a lung infection while trying to repair damage to her home.

"I also have asthma and I can't live there while there are repairs, the fumes would be so bad for me," she said.

She had contents insurance with NRMA but said she believed the company had not done enough for her since the flood.

Mrs Fletcher's granddaughter has welcomed her into her home, however, she claimed NRMA had found her temporary accommodation after floods in 2010.

"They gave me alternative accommodation for eight months, four years ago," she said.

NRMA insurance spokeswoman Mariana Cidade said the company had been paying Mrs Fletcher $100 per week towards accommodation at her granddaughter's home, since the flood.

"NRMA Insurance has cleaned and sanitised her home," she said. "We have agreed to replace her stereo cabinet and carpet throughout her unit.

"We have also agreed to replace two mattresses despite them not being damaged in consideration for Ms Fletcher's concerns regarding contamination."

Ms Cidade said the company was waiting on the unit's strata scheme to determine cover for some of the damage.

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