Flooding in New South Wales: Is it too late to claim home insurance?

How to keep up with the latest developments in flooding in New South Wales and what you need to know to make an insurance claim.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) continues to issue severe weather and flood warnings in the east of the country, including western New South Wales. More than 100mm of rain fell in parts of far west New South Wales overnight.

You can follow the latest weather warnings on the BoM website here, NSW SES or by going to Weatherzone. For emergency help in the event of a flood or storm, call 132,500. In case of life-threatening emergency, call 000.

How to prepare your home for flooding

Here are the steps you could take to prepare your home for flooding:

  • Securing all large items. If you can still get out safely, secure all loose items. Lock them inside if you can (or move them to a higher, more secure position so there’s less chance of them floating around and causing damage). If it’s windy, you’ll want to prevent things from turning into projectiles that could injure someone or damage your home. Try to secure anything that might be spilled inside during a storm, such as loose furniture or shelves. Roll up all the mats.
  • Store your valuables. Use a fire and water resistant safe or safe and store all important documents such as passports, birth certificates, deeds, titles and identity documents.
  • Gather an emergency kit. In severe situations, you may want to collect personal items such as medicines and first aid supplies, water, torch, waterproof bags, batteries, candles, matches, canned food. , extra clothing, a fire extinguisher and emergency cash. Also make sure your cell phone and other electronic devices are fully charged (do this before disconnecting utilities).
  • Preparation of your home insurance documents. To prepare for an insurance claim, you need to take lots of photos and videos of any damage to your home. You can also get a claim faster if you can find receipts for any damaged content, along with appraisal reports and bank statements.

Can I make a home insurance claim for the flooding?

It depends on the specifics of your policy. Most insurers offer optional flood coverage, with only a few that include it as standard. If this was an optional supplement, you would have had to pay an additional premium to have it included.

Your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) will state which events you are covered for and how the conditions are set. If you still have doubts, call your insurer. You should just need your name and address to do this, as they will have electronic records.

What about storm damage?

If a storm damaged your home, you can usually make a claim. Recently released statistics from AAMI show that storm damage was the most common type of home insurance claim for the insurer in 2020 – accounting for almost a third (32.74%) of all complaints. Water leaks come second with 16.74% – both are covered as standard in home insurance policies.

“Storm surges”, which often affect residents of coastal areas, are a common exclusion from housing coverage. This is where a rise in sea level caused by a meteorological event pushes water towards the shore. Unfortunately, this is usually not covered by insurance.

How long do I have to wait to claim a new policy?

Typically, home insurers set a 72-hour waiting period for any flood or storm claim. You will not be able to claim while your policy is waiting. Unfortunately, you will not be able to claim these floods. Insurers will consider recent weather to be a known event and insurance will only cover the unforeseen.

How to make a claim on your home insurance

To make a claim on your home insurance, follow these 3 steps:


Secure your property

Start by checking your home to make sure it is safe and secure – call 000 in case of emergency.

According to its website, the time to call SES is “if you have suffered damage from storms, wind, hail or a fallen tree and a tree branch threatens your property or the safety of a person”.

Once you have dealt with the urgent matters, you can also call your insurer. He may be able to send an emergency tradesperson if needed.

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Get photos and videos of the damage

Gather as much evidence of the damage as possible. Look for receipts and invoices for any damaged white goods or other items you want to claim.

You could potentially speed up your claim if you could find copies of recent appraisal reports and bank statements.


Submit your complaint

Now is the time to submit your home insurance claim. You can usually do this online or by mail. It usually takes up to 10 days for insurers to respond to your claim. Be aware that for events with multiple claims, an insurer may take longer to process yours.

Did you know? If you have suffered a power outage due to the wild weather, you may be able to make a food spoilage claim. Earlier this year, Finder checked 11 brands and found that home insurance could reimburse you for up to $ 2,000 if your food was wasted after a power outage.

There have been a number of difficult times recently with natural disasters. To get protection against future loss or damage, compare your home insurance options.

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