QLD floods watch: Is your suburb set for bad weather?
Residents in the Darling Downs region need to get ready for treacherous conditions.
Queenslanders are facing severe storms, flash flooding, hail and strong winds as a low-pressure system continues to develop across large parts of the state. The foul weather has led the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to issue severe weather and flood warnings in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
Has your home been impacted by the storms? Learn the steps to follow to submit a home insurance claim here.
Signing up for local forecast alerts could give you a head start ahead of bad weather. They're typically free and could save you cash in the long run.
Here are more tips to prepare for the storms and heavy rains.
5 ways to get ready for wild weather
Store away your valuables
Use a fire and waterproof safe or lockbox and store all important documents like passports, birth certificates, deeds, titles and identification documents.
Secure large outdoor items
If a storm is close by – and there's still time to go outside safely – store or secure any loose items. This can stop them from turning into projectiles that could hurt someone or damage your home in strong winds.
Compile an emergency kit
For particulary severe storms, you may want to gather some belongings such as medicine and first-aid supplies, water, a torch, batteries, candles, matches, canned foods, extra clothes, a fire extinguisher and some emergency cash. You might keep 1 in your home and 1 in the car.
Buy a car cover
Severe hailstorms are a nightmare for car owners. If you can't find a sheltered place to park your vehicle, it may be worth investing in a car cover that's specifically made to protect against hailstones.
Prepare your insurance documents
To get ready for an insurance claim, you should take plenty of photos and videos of any damage to your home. You could also get a speedier claim if you can find receipts of any damaged contents, along with valuation reports and bank statements.
Can I make a home insurance claim for storm, hail and flood damage?
Storms are typically covered as standard in home insurance policies. The same goes for hail damage in all comprehensive car insurance policies. Recently-published stats from AAMI show that storm damage was the leading home insurance claim for the insurer last year. It accounted for nearly a third (32.74%) of all claims, while hail damage made up 13.49% of claims.
Flood insurance is no longer included automatically in new home insurance policies – it will need to be added on at your request for an additional cost.
The specifics of home insurance vary from policy to policy. For example, events that are defined as "storm surges", where a rise in the sea level caused by a weather event pushes water onshore, aren't usually covered by home insurance. You can ring your provider if you're unclear about what you're covered for.
It's important to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to find out exactly what a policy covers. This can ensure you have the right type of cover for where you live.
Can I get a new home insurance policy and still make a claim?
Unfortunately, no – it's too late for this weather event. All home insurance providers set a waiting period, during which you won't be able to claim against your cover. We reviewed 15 brands and most providers set exclusion periods of 72 hours for both floods and storms.