Black Summer Series: Batemans Bay Bushfires

16 April 2024

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The worst bushfire season on record

2020 was a year of challenges like no other. For the close-knit community of Batemans Bay in NSW, New Year’s Eve 2019 will forever be remembered as the day a monster fire ravaged the area and turned daylight into dark. The Clyde Mountain fire tore through forest and reached Batemans Bay. Hundreds of locals and holiday makers were forced to evacuate and seek shelter on the Bay waters.

It was unfortunately one of many communities hit hard by what was the worst bushfire season on record. The impact on communities, farmers, local businesses, wildlife and bushland was unprecedented.

The challenging aftermath

The Batemans Bay fires saw much devastation with homes lost and significant damage sustained to local businesses in the industrial area. The community was overwhelmed but it rallied.

For the family team of Sam, Ray and Chris Millynn, from Elders Insurance Batemans Bay, this meant opening their doors to help the tourist town through the hugely challenging time that came in the aftermath of the bushfires.

Their office became a command centre for claims, and for almost six months, the husband, wife and son trio, and their team, worked non-stop processing bushfire claims.

Support in times of need

Twelve months on, to mark the anniversary, we’ve visit three Elders Insurance clients to hear their stories of the Batemans Bay bushfire. They share with us the terrifying experience of the fires but also the relief in having the support of their local Elders Insurance Agent during their time of need.

Dwayne Gentner, Resident, Batemans Bay NSW
“Straight away Sam, from Elders Insurance, was on the phone and I was able to get answers and reassurance, which was the biggest relief. I knew everything was going to be ok and we’d be looked after. No matter the time, day or night, Sam has been there for us. The relationship is priceless”


Mark Hood, Pearly Oyster Bar, Batemans Bay NSW
“The morning after the fires we were able to sit down with Ray and Sam to go through everything. It felt good to not have to wait on the phone. We could sit across the table from the team at Elders Insurance which was great. Within a week of putting in our claim we were back up and running. The quick payment from Elders Insurance was invaluable”


Jack Denning, Capital Coast Steel, Batemans Bay NSW
“Our business would have been on its knees without the help of Elders Insurance, Sam and Ray and the team. We were able to get the ball rolling on our claim almost immediately. It was good to deal with local people who understood what we went through here in Batemans Bay.”


Tammie Goodliffe, Three66 Espresso Bar, Batemans Bay NSW
"I've been with Elders Insurance for 15 years. Sam came to the cafe when it all happened to let us know he was here, Elders Insurance was here for us. We found that support the most essential. We didn't know what this event would mean for us. The summer trade is everything for our business. It is not just three months of income, it is 12 months of support for our whole family. The team at Elders Insurance Batemans Bay get that, they live in the town. If I was insured with another insurer they wouldn't have been here offering the empathy we got from Elders Insurance. It is what kept us open. I think I would have given up if I didn't have my insurance."


At Elders Insurance our Agents are here to help. Your local Agent will make sure you have the right cover, tailored to your needs, and most importantly should the worst happen, and you need to make a claim, we’ll be there to help. Contact us today to learn more.  

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