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Flood insurance

What is flood insurance and how does it work?

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Flooded river

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Flood insurance is generally attached to home and contents insurance either as an add-on or an included form of cover. It's designed to cover you for repairing and replacing your home and contents when they're damaged by a flood.

Every insurer has its own list of what does and does not qualify as flood damage, so it's vital that you check your insurer's policy before purchasing it to see what's included.

Compare house and contents insurance with flood cover

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Flood Rebuilding & Repairs to your Home Accidental Damage to Home or Belongings Temporary Accommodation Sum Insured Safeguard
Budget Direct Home & Contents Insurance
Optional
Optional
10% of sum insured - up to 12 months
Optional
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
Optional
For a maximum of 12 months
Virgin Home and Contents Insurance
Optional
Optional
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Optional
Woolworths Comprehensive Building and Contents
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Westpac Home and Contents Insurance
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
St. George Home and Contents
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Domain Home Buildings & Contents Insurance
No
10% of building's sum insured
ANZ Home & Contents Insurance
Optional
For a maximum of 12 months (24 months for catastrophic events)
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What is considered "flood damage"?

In the world of insurance, a flood is only classed as a flood if the water escaped from a watercourse, such as a lake, river, dam or reservoir, and has caused damage to your home and property.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance is designed to protect your home from a sudden deluge of water that happens unexpectedly. That said, the definition of a flood varies from policy to policy and you aren't guaranteed to be covered simply because your house was damaged by water.

Cover goes towards paying for the repair or replacement of your home and/or contents, up to your policy limit. For example:

  • Structural work to repair a flooded foundation.
  • Replacement for your television set that was damaged by flood water seeping into its electronics.
  • Temporary accommodation while your house is being repaired.

What type of floods are covered?

While the exact types of floods covered in your policy will depend on your insurer, the following table should give a general idea of whether a particular flood type is usually covered. Check your specific policy documents to see what level of cover you have.

Type of floodDoes flood insurance cover it?
Water escaping from natural courses like rivers, creeks and water catchment systems.
Most likely
Sudden water run-off from a storm, including overflowing storm drains and creeks.
Most likely
Escaped liquid and water from burst pipes or overflowing sinks, baths, etc.
Most likely
Tsunami waves from a volcanic eruption or an earthquake.Unlikely
Flash floodingDepends
Action of the sea, including high tides, king tides or the rise and fall of ocean levels.
Unlikely
Man-made flooding (from a broken storm drain or non-natural sewer backup).
Unlikely

How much is home insurance with flood cover?

BrandPolicy nameYearly cost with flood coverYearly cost without flood coverDifferenceApply
Budget Direct home insuranceSmart Home & Contents$1,665.76$1,498.10$167.66Get quote
Virgin money home insuranceVirgin Home & Contents$1,682.42$1,513.09$169.33Get quote
ING home insuranceHome Insure Plus Home & Contents$1,682.44$1,513.09$169.35More info
Hume bank home insuranceHome & Contents$2,137.43$2,114.19$23.24More info
Westpac home insuranceEssential Care$1,981.72Not an optionn/aGet quote
St. george home insuranceEssential Care$1,981.72Not an optionn/aGet quote
Real home insuranceEssential$1,943.25Not an optionn/aMore info

How important is flood insurance?

Hundreds of thousands of Australians live in flood-prone areas. If you're one of them, it might be worth investing in flood cover. According to our research, it only costs a little bit more than a normal policy.

If you're not sure whether your property is at risk of flooding, your local council should be able to help, and may even be able to provide you with flood maps for the area. You can also check the government's Flood Risk Information Portal, which helps people understand the flood risks of their local area.

If you decide that you don't need flood insurance, but it comes as standard with your home insurance policy, it may be worth contacting your insurance provider to see if you can opt-out of the cover. In some cases, this will reduce your premium.

How do I find the best flood insurance?

While there is no such thing as a universally "best" policy that works for everyone, you can find a policy that works well for you by doing the following:



Compare your options

Compare the features of different home insurance policies.



Check the exclusions

Watch out for things like tsunami exclusions if you live near the ocean.



Contact your insurer

Got any questions? Your insurer can probably answer them.

How do I find the cheapest flood insurance?

Purchasing cheap flood insurance offers the same risks as purchasing cheap home and contents insurance, since flood cover is usually attached. Underinsuring your home and contents with a cheap policy means that your policy may not pay out enough to cover any damage, leaving you with a large bill.

The policy may also have narrower definitions of a flood, or a larger number of exclusions. For example, some policies offer cover for damage from earth movement or subsidence that occurs within 72 hours of a storm or heavy rain, but as a rule, cheaper policies will have fewer inclusions.

Flood insurance will, of course, be cheaper the lower your insurer judges your risk of flood to be, too.

What isn't covered by flood insurance?

Common exclusions for flood insurance (beyond what type of flood is covered) are:

  • Damage within a certain period after purchasing the policy (for example, 3 to 7 days).
  • Damage to things outside of your home, like walls, paths, driveways and gardens.
  • Subsequent loss such as business losses due to being unable to access the damaged property.
  • Some insurers will let you adjust the amount of flood damage cover you have to help lower your premiums. This is good for getting a cheaper policy, but just make sure you don't underinsure your home and valuables.

How different brands define flood insurance

ProviderCovered for:Defenition
Picture not described

Home & Contents Insurance

Loss or damage from the escape of rainwater from any water pipe, drain or gutter, and surface run-off rainwater from surrounding areas that occurs within 24 hours of a storm or heavy rain.

Also includes damage caused by earth movement that occurs within 72 hours of a storm or heavy rain.

The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or
been released from the normal confines of any of the following:
Youi Logo

Building and Contents Insurance

Loss or damage to the insured property caused by flood.
Flood means the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or
been released from the normal confines of any of the following:
Picture not described

Home and Contents

Loss or damage from the escape of rainwater from any water pipe, drain or gutter, and surface run-off rainwater from surrounding areas that occurs within 24 hours of a storm or heavy rain. Also includes damage caused by earth movement that occurs within 72 hours of a storm or heavy rain.
Flood is defined as the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or
been released from the normal confines of any of the following:
Picture not described

Home and Contents Insurance

Loss or damage from the escape of rainwater from any water pipe, drain or gutter, and surface run-off rainwater from surrounding areas that occurs within 24 hours of a storm or heavy rain. Also includes damage caused by earth movement that occurs within 72 hours of a storm or heavy rain.
Flood is defined as the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or
been released from the normal confines of any of the following:
Picture not described

Home and Contents Insurance

Loss or damage caused by:
• flood*
• flood water*, combined with run-off
and rainwater.
The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or
been released from the normal confines of any of the following:
Picture not described

Home and Contents Insurance

Loss or damage caused by flood, including tsunami and storm surge.
Flood means the covering of normally dry
land by water that has escaped or been
released from the normal confines of any of
the following:
Picture not describedstgeorge logo

Home and Contents Insurance

Loss or damage caused by flood, including tsunami and storm surge.
Flood means the covering of normally dry
land by water that has escaped or been
released from the normal confines of any of
the following:
real insurance

Home and Contents Insurance

Loss or damage caused by storm, rainwater and flood.
The covering of normally dry
land by water that has escaped or been
released from the normal confines of any of
the following:

Home & Contents Insurance

We will cover you for loss or damage caused by flood.
Flood means the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any of the following:
Picture not described

Home and Contents Insurance

Loss or damage caused by storm, rainwater, flood or wind.
The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any of the following;

Does car insurance cover flood damage?

Flood cover is included in most comprehensive car insurance policies. Like home insurance, if you keep your car in an area that is prone to flooding, your premiums might be higher.

There is also likely to be a waiting period, which means you won't be covered for any flood damage that occurs within the first few days after purchasing your policy, although the exact time period varies between insurers.

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