When Wandella's Graeme Freedman lost everything to a pyrocumulus cloud, or fire cloud, one of the first obstacles he had to work through during the recovery process was navigating his insurance policy.
While he says his insurer was helpful, he was forced to fight for the rights of many other residents in the "online court of public opinion", bombarding companies with posts on social media pages across the region.
I've learned if you want to put pressure on politicians, do it publicly.Wandella's Graeme Freedman
"Whenever the companies were doing something bad I post about them on all the Facebook buy, swap and sell sites up and down the coast, and even Canberra," he said from the caravan he and his wife have called home since returning to the region after evacuating to Canberra during the blazes.
"I know enough about the law to do it, which usually involves posting the company's own words back to them. I give them 24 hours to do something."
While his home, overlooking much of the surrounding devastation, was insured, his business, shed, fencing and all in-ground infrastructure was not. He said he sacked his assessor "on the spot and went straight to the top", but said his payout will only cover rebuilding a much smaller home.
"People don't know they can sack their assessor," he said.
So good is the view of the region's devastation from the site where his dream home once stood, it has been visited by countless politicians keen to get a quick sense of the damage.
Mr Freedman said he used his experience in dealing with a past insurer during his time in Sydney, where an outbreak of black mold fungus, caused by a bathroom leak, left his entire family "very sick".
The entire insurance process took 18 months, and taught him to fight his battles in the public arena, embarrassing companies and politicians into action.
"I've learned if you want to put pressure on politicians, do it publicly," he said.
Last year he put on his first play in Cobargo, which he said had a number of scenes which in hindsight eerily foreshadowed the crisis caused by the summer bushfires.
Mr Freedman said over time further difficulties have appeared in front of residents looking to recover as quickly as possible from the summer emergency.
He said incorrect mapping of bushfire prone property classification confused insurers, and home owners are unsure about the policy around how local government fees and charges are being waived.
He also said their was initial confusion over whether insurers would pay out for property clean ups after the state offered to pay the costs.
"There are real recovery issues," Mr Freedman said.
Mr Freedman said residents outside town's without connected utilities are suffering the most during the recovery process.
"There's so much infrastructure people thought would never be destroyed by bushfire. They will be struggling for quite some time because many are under-insured," he said.
"Their coverage just didn't cover things like in-ground infrastructure at all. Companies just haven't modeled plans properly to begin with.
"It's complicated. Insurance for rural properties is a case-by-case basis, so it's a lot harder. Some people who have signed really stupid policies, you just can't do much about it."
The recovery has been a battle that still continues, with Mr Freedman now waiting on the approval of a development application for his new home.
"If we had our time again we wouldn't purchase here," he said.