Melbourne earthquake: Can I make a home insurance claim?

Posted: 22 September 2021 11:43 am
News
Melbourne-earthquakes

Melbourne and parts of Victoria have been struck by a large earthquake, causing damage to buildings and a state-wide warning to be issued. Learn the key facts about making a claim on your home insurance.

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit near Mansfield, about 150 kilometres east of Melbourne, at around 9:15am AEST today. Tremors were felt across South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and NSW, including in Sydney.

The Bureau of Meteorology says there is no tsunami threat to Australia, but several reports of damage to other buildings across the state have been made to the SES.

Does home insurance cover earthquake damage?

Typically, yes. We checked 11 home insurance policies available on Finder and all cover earthquake damage.

If you already have a policy and your home or building was damaged, you should be covered.

If you didn't have a home insurance policy at least 72 hours prior to the earthquake occurring, you won't be covered for any damage to your building it caused.

Most policies have exclusion periods for specific insured events such as a quake to prevent people from simply taking out a policy just before damage occurs.

You can find out more about home insurance exclusions here.

How to make a home insurance claim for earthquake damage

If you need to submit a home insurance claim, be aware that it may take insurers a little longer to get back to you because of the large volume of claims likely to come through.

It's also likely that you will need to pay an earthquake and tsunami excess when you make a claim. This may be in addition to your basic excess, depending on the insurer you are with.

To make a home insurance claim, here are the 3 steps to follow:

One

Make your property safe

Ensure that your property is safe and secure – you may need to call 000 or the SES. Call your insurer and let it know what has happened – it may be able to send out an emergency tradesperson if immediate help is needed.

Two

Collect evidence

Take as many photos and videos of the damage as possible. Begin collecting receipts and invoices for damaged items to prove your expenses.

Three

Send to the insurer

Once you've collected all the evidence, you can submit your home insurance claim. You can usually do this online or by mail. It usually takes insurers up to 10 days to respond to your claim. However, the earthquake is likely to result in multiple claims so it may take longer to process yours.

If you don't have home insurance, you can compare some of Australia's most popular brands side-by-side here. You won't be covered for Wednesday's earthquake but it can protect you from loss or damage in the future.

Image credit: Finder (Amy Bradney-George)

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