Flood damage in NSW: 3 things you need to do now

Got flood damage? Here are the 3 things you should do right now

Posted: 22 March 2021 5:21 pm
News
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Over the weekend, NSW has seen record levels of rainfall. If you think you may need to make a claim for flood damage – here's what you can do to prepare.

It's been pouring down rain, and now loads of homes in New South Wales have been hit with flood damage.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared this weekend's downpour as a "catastrophe" with over 5,000 claims submitted in the last couple of days. So far, 18,000 residents have had to evacuate, with 15,000 of them coming from the mid-coast of New South Wales.

While we can't stop the rain from falling, we can help you navigate your home insurance claim to make things easier for you.

These are the three things you need to do ASAP

One Make sure you and your loved ones are safe.

If your home isn't in a liveable state, consider staying with family or friends. You can also head to a nearby evacuation centre if you need to. Don't forget your pets!

Did you know? Some home insurance policies will cover you for temporary accommodation.

Two Contact your home insurer or emergency services if you need to.

As long as everyone is safe, you should try to contact your home insurer as soon as possible. With so many homes affected, you may have to hold the line for a little while. If things are getting worse for your home, call State Emergency Services (SES) on 132 500 or 000 for any theft or malicious damage.

Three Take pictures and prepare your docs.

Have your policy number at the ready, details of the incident, photos of the damage and any other relevant invoices and receipts. Having these prepared can help speed up the claims process.

How to contact your insurer about flood damage

Here's a list of some major Australian home insurers and how you can contact them.

Tip: If you need to check your product disclosure statement (PDS) for how your home insurer covers flood damage, try using the Find tool (Ctrl+F or Command+F) and search for the term "Flood". It'll save you having to scroll through the whole document.

BrandAre floods usually covered?24/7 Contact numberHow to make a claim
Budget Direct LogoBudget Direct offers flood cover as optional in its home insurance policies. If you're not sure if you've opted in, check your Certificate of Insurance.1300 139 591
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1800 069 336
Westpac home insuranceWestpac automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.1300 369 989
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1300 369 989
St. george logoSt.George automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.1300 655 489
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1300 655 489
Qantas home insuranceQantas offers flood cover as optional in its home insurance policies. If you're not sure if you've opted in, check your Certificate of Insurance.13 49 60
Real insurance logoReal automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.13 19 48
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 13 19 48
Australian seniors home insuranceAustralian Seniors automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.13 13 43
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 13 13 43
Domain home insuranceDomain Insurance automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.1300 370 456
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1300 370 456
Virginmoney logoVirgin Money offers flood cover as optional in its home insurance policies. If you're not sure if you've opted in, check your Certificate of Insurance.1800 662 884
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1800 662 884
Youi LogoYoui automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.n/a
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 13 9684
Anz home insuranceANZ automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.n/a
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 13 16 14
ahm logoahm automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.(+61) 2 4062 8737
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1300 518 049
Kogan insurance logoKogan automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.1300 034 888
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1300 034 888
AAMI logoAAMI automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.13 22 44
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 13 22 44 - mail: GPO BOX 2988 Brisbane, QLD 4001
Woolworths home insuranceWoolworths automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.1300 10 1234
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1300 10 1234
coles home insuranceColes automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.n/a
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1300 265 374
Huddle LogoHuddle automatically includes flood cover in its home insurance policies.(+61) 2 8294 7772
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: (+61) 2 4062 8737
ING logoING offers flood cover as optional in its home insurance policies. If you're not sure if you've opted in, check your Certificate of Insurance.133 464
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 1800 611 422
Allianz home insuranceAllianz offers flood cover as optional in its home insurance policies. If you're not sure if you've opted in, check your Certificate of Insurance.13 10 13
  • Online claims here
  • Over the phone claims: 13 10 13

Ways your home insurance can help with the situation

The most obvious is that home insurance can help cover the cost of damage and repairs to your home from flooding; however, it can also help with the following:

  • Temporary accommodation. If your home is in an unliveable state, ask your insurer to see if you can claim an allowance for temporary accommodation at a hotel. This can also help if you have pets as well. Some policies will also cover the cost of temporary dog/cat boarding.

Important tip: If water has entered your home, don't turn on any electricals without the go-ahead from the SES.

  • Food spoilage. If your home has been completely flooded or you can't access the property for a while, you might find that the food is probably no good. A lot of insurance policies have an allowance between $500 and 1,000 to replenish your pantry.

Save your receipts!

Are you someone who saves all their receipts in a shoebox? Or maybe you keep them handy in digital copies on your phone? Whichever way you do it, keep them safe in case you need to claim water or impact damage on your contents.

More support for affected homes

  • Services Australia. Services Australia has announced that some homes may be eligible to claim the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment. Eligible households can receive a payment of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child (under 16 years old).
  • Banks. The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has reminded customers to seek assistance from their banks. They might be able to help with things like deferrals of scheduled loan repayments and increasing emergency credit card limits.

Don't have home insurance?

If you don't have home insurance, you may be looking at some out-of-pocket expenses for the damages. Check to see if you're eligible for any assistance packages and then start comparing home insurance policies for next time – this won't be the last time it rains!

Picture: GettyImages

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