I thought I’d seen it all, and then I went to Townsville.

by Jason Storey


It’s a hot morning in Townsville and I’m standing in Youi’s Motor Catastrophe Centre.  It’s a massive shed in full sun, emphasising the typical challenges of a tropical climate. The Youi car assessors are busy working their way through assessments to keep claims moving for our customers and I’ve come to support the team and help out where I can.

Our staff have also been quick to reach out to our home insurance customers, proactively calling them to check in as the flood waters rose. Getting temporary accommodation sorted and restoration work initiated as quickly as possible has been paramount. It strikes me yet again how important it is to mobilise quickly after an event like this.

Driving through Townsville and visiting our customer’s homes, the impact of this one-in-500-year event is palpable. In a career in claims spanning 18 years, I’ve seen a lot, but I’ve never seen anything like this.  The region received a year’s worth of rain in just nine days. The mould growing in vehicles literally takes my breath away, with mud lines on homes showing just how high the flood waters reached.

Having our own people on the ground after such a devastating event has been fundamental to our ability to provide customers with a positive experience.  That’s been coupled with strong relationships with our fantastic service providers and a focus on quality. 

We have also started our own internal fundraising appeal for Townsville, supporting GIVIT, a charity that helps get the right resources to families in need. A great cause if you want to make a donation.

I’m immensely proud of the work the team has done, not just in Townsville but also after the December hailstorm in Sydney. These events are devastating for our customers and their communities, which makes it even more rewarding to galvanise as a team when our customers need it most.

With the clean-up underway, we remain committed to:

  • Putting our customers first every step of the way
  • Being flexible and agile in the face of unprecedented situations
  • Providing a human touch
  • Delivering on speed and quality

The Youi team is continuing to do all that we can on the ground in Townsville, and will be on standby to assist customers at the Insurance Council’s Community Forum on Monday 25 February 2019. You can visit disasters.org.au to find out more, and register to drop in.

It would be easy to sit back and give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.  But, the reality is that the job isn’t done.  We’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, that we should constantly strive to get better, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

Jason Storey

Jason is Youi’s Chief Operations Officer for Claims Services.

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