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How to get temporary accommodation help during floods


Both the government and insurance can help sort emergency accommodation if your home isn't safe to stay in.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued more than 50 weather warnings as torrential rain hits large parts of Australia's east, including across inland NSW and coastal areas.

Sydney is set to record its wettest year on record in the coming days.

Check the latest national weather warnings on BOM's website . For emergencies, call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.

Where to find temporary accommodation

There are 5 community recovery centres throughout NSW that may help sort temporary housing for you if you've been told to evacuate or your home has been damaged and isn't safe to stay in.

You can also call 13 77 88 or head to the NSW government's accommodation page for more advice.

Alternatively, Anglicare may provide emergency housing if you've been affected by a natural disaster.

What's covered by my home insurance?

At the time of writing (6 October), the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) hasn't declared the floods a 'catastrophe'.

If it does, this would mean the insurance industry must escalate its response help policyholders as a priority.

However, there are actions you can take now.

See if you're insured for flooding

To understand what your home insurance covers you for, give your insurer a call or check your product disclosure statement (PDS).

Most home insurers automatically cover floods. However, in some policies, it's an optional cover.

This means you'd need to have added it when taking out insurance to make a successful claim.

As long as you have flood coverage on your policy, you should be able to claim for any water damage.

Keep in mind that you typically won't be covered for flood damage claims if you've taken out a policy in the last 72 hours.

Check if you can make a temporary accommodation claim

If you're displaced by the floods, you could also claim for temporary accommodation and emergency evacuation costs.

This applies if your home is too damaged by the floods to live in.

The cover can meet the cost of alternative accommodation for your family, and pet accommodation if needed.

If you've had to leave your home due to flood damage, try to call your insurer before you pay for temporary accommodation.

This is so that the insurer can decide whether or not these costs are reasonable and they agree to cover you.

Each insurer will deal with claims slightly differently.

For example, Youi told Finder that it uses a third party who directly find claimants suitable accommodation should customers need to make claim.

A flat excess of $400 will apply, which is less than a standard policy excess. You can claim up to a maximum of 30 days for emergency accommodation.

Youi added that customers can start and track a claim for home insurance via its app.

We fact-checked this article and added new information on 6 October 2022.

Read more on what you could claim for on home insurance after flooding. If you've been impacted by the floods, you can head to our dedicated hub for more information about how to get help.

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