Helpful Information: Making an Insurance Claim for the 2022 NSW & QLD Storms

Helpful Information: Making an Insurance Claim for the 2022 NSW & QLD Storms

The recent Northern NSW and South East QLD storms, which in many places are still ongoing, have been devastating, causing loss of life and suffering. 

To date, there have been over 10,000 claims lodged with insurers for the recent storms. Although insurers have staff and assessors on the ground in the key areas, organising builders and materials is likely to take time. 

Below are some tips and key points to help lodge a claim and organise the clean-up and repairs. 

Safety is The Priority 

Only return to your property when emergency services give the go-ahead. 

If water has entered the property, don’t turn on your electricity until it has been inspected by an electrician.

Contact your insurer as soon as possible

If you have been impacted, call your insurer and let them know of the loss and damage. Even if you don’t know the extent of the damage, this can ensure your insurer is aware, and they can start the claims process and arrange an assessment of the home, business or motor vehicle. 

Don’t worry if you can’t find your insurance policy documents. The insurers can locate the policy on their system using your information.

Helpful Information: Making an Insurance Claim for the 2022 NSW & QLD Storms
Vulnerable Customers

Let your insurer and insurance advisers know if you have any of the following as they can provide additional assistance: 

  • A disability including mental health;
  • Subject to family violence;
  • Language or literacy issues;
  • Financial distress;
  • Live in a remote location or indigenous.
Cleaning Up 

Once you have safe access back to your property, take photos of everything before moving anything or cleaning. These photos can be evidence for your insurer, making it easier for them to see what damage occurred and ensure you receive an adequate claim.

Make a list of each damaged item with a detailed description (brand, serial number, etc.); this will help with the claims process. 

Storm and flood-damaged carpets and soft furnishings can be disposed of as they are likely to cause a health risk. Keep samples of the fabric for the assessor. 

Other items such as business books and records should be kept for the assessor to view before being disposed of. 

Roof and Property Repairs 

Speak to your insurer before starting any repairs and building work as they need to be approved by your insurer. Insurers can organise builders who can assess the damage and commence repairs, whether the property is a home or business. 

Make safe or emergency repairs to prevent injury or further property damage, such as fitting tarpaulins or removing tree branches. Again, the insurer will need to be informed as soon as possible of the reasons. 

Insurance Claims Process

The claims process for home and business insurance customers is as follows: 

  1. Confirm the insurance policy covers the loss or damage;
  2. Confirm if the customer is a vulnerable person;
  3. Arrange for an assessment of the loss or damage;
  4. If building works are required, arrange a builder to provide a quote and written scope of the works;
  5. Agree on the repairs with the customer;
  6. For other items, such as furnishings, computers and stock, agree on the replacement or repair;
  7. Cash settlement can be agreed upon in some cases.

For more information, you can read the Insurance Council of Australia’s FAQ

Helpful Information: Making an Insurance Claim for the 2022 NSW & QLD Storms
Flood Insurance 

Over one million private properties, which is equivalent to one in ten homes, are exposed to some level of flood risk in Australia.

If you have water damage, speak to your insurance adviser or insurer to determine what is covered under your insurance policy. If the damage was caused by floodwater, the policy would have to have a flood insurance extension. Not all insurance policies cover floods automatically. 

All insurance companies have the following standard definition of a flood: “The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of (i) any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourses, whether or not altered or modified; or (ii) any reservoir, canal, or dam.” 

If you opted out of flood cover, did not opt into flood cover, or your policy excludes flood, your insurer may still assess any claim you make to determine how your home was inundated. This may be required to establish whether other inclusions in your policy (cover for stormwater run-off, for example) can cover all or part of your claim. 

In Summary 

If you’re looking for more information to help you with your insurance and options, you can find your local adviser today. Specialising in all things insurance, we want to work with you to tailor the best home and contents and business insurance.

Check your policy wording and talk to your insurance adviser or insurer if you do not understand what you are covered for. 

Important Information 

This communication including any weblinks or attachments is for information purposes only. It is not a recommendation or opinion, your personal or individual objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into account. This communication is not intended to constitute personal advice.

We strongly recommend that you consider the suitability of this information, in respect of your own personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. This document is also not a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or a policy wording, nor is it a summary of a particular product’s features or terms of any insurance product. If you are interested in discussing this information or acquiring an insurance product, you should contact your insurance adviser to obtain and carefully consider any relevant PDS or policy wording before deciding whether to purchase any insurance product.

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