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La Niña warning for Australian homeowners

Posted: 8 October 2020 1:37 pm
News

Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get any worse, the Bureau of Meteorology has declared a La Niña event. Severe wet weather, tropical cyclones and increased flooding are now on the way for millions of Australians.

The last La Niña event, which occurred from 2010-2012, resulted in one of Australia's wettest two-year periods on record and widespread flooding occurred in many parts of the country.

News that another one is coming has led to warnings for Australian homeowners: check your home insurance now, or risk an expensive and unpleasant surprise further down the track.

That's because many home insurance policies in Australia don't automatically include cover for flooding. Most offer it as an optional extra which costs more.

Often, homeowners with a relatively low flood risk will choose to omit flood insurance from their policy in order to save money. Others assume they have cover, when in reality it's not included. When extreme weather events roll around, some inevitably find themselves uninsured.

In a blog-post for QBE, David Gow - head of major loss property claims - recalled speaking with a family who had opted out of flood insurance, only to be hit by the Brisbane floods.

"Their decision not to buy flood insurance was based on the fact that they were highly unlikely to experience flooding as severe as that of 1974," he said. "Unfortunately, the Brisbane floods were worse and sadly that family lost everything."

Which brands offer flood insurance?

Most home insurance brands in Australia offer flood insurance as standard or an optional extra. However, there are other benefits that are worth taking into consideration

For example, tidal surges or coastal flooding isn't always covered by insurers. If you live close to the sea, this is a particularly important benefit to consider.

BrandFloodStorm DamageTidal SurgeDamage due to landslidesTemporary AccommodationApply
Picture not described

Optional

10% of sum insured - up to 12 months
Get quote
Picture not described

Optional

The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Get quote
Picture not described
For a maximum of 12 months
Get quote
St. George logo
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Get quote
Westpac logo
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Get quote
real insurance
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Get quote
Kogan logo
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Get quote
Huddle logo
The lesser of: 12 months rent; or 10% of your building sum insured
Get quote
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10% of building's sum insuredGet quote
Anz home insurance
For a maximum of 12 months (24 months for catastrophic events)
Get quote

The table above lists benefits from Finder partners only. Contact your insurance company directly to check if you have flood cover included in your policy.

What else can I do to protect my home? Whether you have flood insurance or not, there are additional steps homeowners can take which earns them extra protection from severe weather conditions.

  • Get a building inspection and follow any recommendations.
  • Maintain roofs and guttering. Ensure your buildings are watertight.
  • Install a sump pump in the basement
  • Check your drainage. Contact your council if channels aren't clear
  • Where possible, place belongings above the recommended level to avoid water damage
  • Develop an evacuation plan for you and your family

Thankfully, La Niña isn't all bad news. The wet weather means bushfire season is likely to be far less intense, bringing some comfort to those who were affected by last year's record breaking fires.

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