Cyclone insurance

Select storm and flood from the Finder filters, get covered for most cyclone-related damage and click through for a quote.

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Name Product Building Cover Contents Cover Fire, Storm & Theft Damage Sum Insured Safeguard Online Discount Cheapest way to pay
Budget Direct Home & Contents Insurance
Optional
Annually
Save 30% on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online. T&Cs apply.
St. George Home and Contents
Monthly or Annually
Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online. Promo code: COVER
Westpac Home and Contents Insurance
Monthly or Annually
Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online. Promo code: COVER
Huddle Comprehensive Home and Contents Insurance
Annually
Save up to 20% on your policy in the first year.
Virgin Home and Contents Insurance
Optional
Annually
Purchase a new eligible Virgin Home and Contents Insurance policy online and you'll also save 30% on your first year’s premium. T&Cs Apply.
Domain Home Buildings & Contents Insurance
Monthly or Annually
Domain Insure uses property data to help build your quote faster.
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
Optional
Annually
Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points when you apply. Points awarded will be based on your premium. T&Cs & exclusions apply.
Green Company
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
Annually
Save up to 20% on your first years’ premium with a new combined QBE Home and Contents policy online. T&Cs apply.
Seniors Top Home & Contents Insurance
Annually
Buy online and save up to 30% on a new home and contents insurance policy. T&Cs apply.
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
Annually
Youi Home Insurance takes the time to tailor a premium for you.
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How do I get cyclone insurance?

You can get cyclone cover included as standard in most home insurance policies.

Since a cyclone is a type of storm, you'll find it covered under storm cover. For example, Budget Direct refers to a storm as "a weather event, including cyclones, that may be accompanied by strong winds, rain, lightning, hail, snow, or dust."

All the policies outlined above can cover you for cyclones.

How does home insurance cover me for cyclones?

If a cyclone damages your property, home insurance can cover the costs of repairing or rebuilding your home from scratch. It can also replace the contents inside it. Cover can include:

  • Repairing or rebuilding your home
  • Temporary accommodation if your house is unlivable
  • Demolishing the destroyed house including removing debris
  • Regulatory fees related to building construction
  • Professional services like surveyors and architects
  • Repairing or replacing damaged items
  • Storing your undamaged belongings if they can't be kept at your property

What won't home insurance cover me for with cyclones?

While you're generally covered for cyclones, there are a few things that commonly get excluded when a cyclone hits.

  • fences and gates that are not in good condition
  • garden borders, driveways, paths, pavers, or gardens
  • jetties, wharves, and pontoons
  • retaining walls
  • the liner and cover of a swimming pool or spa
  • the surface of a tennis court
  • water in a swimming pool or spa"

What about storm surges?

You most likely won't be covered for storm surges caused by cyclones. This is because in general, insurers don't cover storm surges. They commonly define a storm surge as an increase in the sea level caused by a weather event that pushes water onshore. A cyclone could potentially be this "weather event", hence you might not be covered.

Still confused? Insurers haven't made this one easy to work out. Put simply, a cyclone is likely to push more water towards the shore when moving over water, creating a rise in the sea level and impacting coastal areas as a storm surge. So if your home is damaged due to a storm surge, resulting from a cyclone pushing water towards the shore, you might not be covered. To be sure what you are and are not covered for, call your insurer and ask them.

Here are what some providers say about storm surge:

  • Real insurance: "No cover for oceanic activity, rising damp or seepage of water from ground rain, the cost of removing or pruning fallen trees or branches or other objects that have not damaged the insured property."
  • Budget Direct: "You are not covered for loss or damage caused by actions of the sea or a storm surge. You are not covered for loss or damage to

Terms to watch out for

There are a few terms you need to be wary of when it comes to cyclone insurance. When reading through the product disclosure statement (PDS), look out for the following:

  • Storm surge: Storm surges are a common exclusion, except when they occur at the same time as a flood (and your policy covers you for floods), in which case your claim will be accepted. As already suggested, it's unlikely you will be covered for storm surges even if they are caused by a cyclone.
  • Flood: Flood cover is different from storm cover. While most home insurance policies come with storm cover (which includes cyclones) many policies don't include flood cover. Others might provide it as an extra-cost option. Be sure to read your PDS closely to determine whether or not your policy covers floods. In insurance terms, a "flood" is defined as "the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any lake, river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified, or any reservoir, canal, or dam".
  • Actions of the sea: Similar to storm surge, king tides and other actions of the sea are usually excluded from cover. You probably won't be covered for damage caused by actions of the sea, even if they are caused by a cyclone.

How to prepare for a cyclone

If you live in a cyclone-prone area, there are some important steps you should take:

Prepare your home:

  • Check with your local council to see if your home is built to cyclone standards.
  • Ensure you have home and contents insurance well in advance of the cyclone. Most policies will have a waiting period of around 48–72 hours.
  • Check your roof and repair any loose tiles, eaves or roof screws.
  • Ensure windows are fitted with shutters or metal screens.
  • Trim any branches hanging over your house and clear gutters of leaves and debris.
  • Check that your emergency survival kit is complete.
  • Make sure everyone in the house recognises the Standard Emergency Warning Signal, which is broadcast on TV and radio when a cyclone is 12 hours or less away.

When you hear the warning:

  • Stay up-to-date with current warnings for your area and receive SMS at http://www.emergencyalert.gov.au/.
  • Clear your property of all loose items including outdoor furniture, children's toys, bins and gardening equipment.
  • Fill buckets and your bath with water in case your water supply gets cut off. You should also have enough water purification tablets.
  • Make sure your windows are closed securely. If you don't have shutters, tape your windows in a criss-crossing fashion using strong packing tape to hold broken glass in place.

Do you live in Queensland?

Tropical cyclones are very common in Queensland. Most home insurance policies won't cover you for cyclones and other weather events within the first 48-72 hours, so don't risk putting it off – if you want covered, you're best to get a home and contents insurance policy as soon as possible.

If you live in a cyclone-prone area of Queensland, it's very likely that you'll pay more for your home insurance because there is more risk of something happening. It's frustrating but it's probably not something you want to risk.

How to make a cyclone insurance claim

Follow these 4 steps to make a cyclone insurance claim:

One

Get a claim form

Call your insurer or visit its website. Most insurers have an online form that you can email or mail.

Two

File a claim

Complete the form by answering a few questions about the incident. Attach any relevant documented evidence (e.g. photographs, receipts, etc) of the damage to your home and contents. Avoid cleaning up until you've spoken to your insurer.

Three

Wait for the claim to be processed

Your insurer has up to 10 days to respond but in cases like a cyclone, there is usually more than one case which means it's likely to take a little longer. During this time it may contact you to confirm details or send an assessor to your home.

Four

Your claim will be accepted or rejected

If your claim is rejected, you can file an internal dispute with your insurer. If that doesn't work you can also file a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

Picture: GettyImages

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