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The text Insurance and Floods placed on top of an aerial image of a flooded property

With flood warnings issued across parts of Australia, there is no better time than now to remind yourself of what to do in an emergency. Continue reading for Ideas’ top 5 tips on Insurance and flood damage, and what your next steps are.

  1. Stay safe:

As always, your safety is the most important thing. Do not do anything that puts you or anyone in harm's way. Materials can be replaced, you cannot. This includes listening to emergency services; always follow their orders and only return to your home when they give you the green light. Another important tip is to make sure electricity remains off if water has entered the property, do not turn back on until a licensed electrician has given you the go-ahead.       

  1. Take Photos:

Before you begin the big task of a clean-up, make sure you take photos of the damage and make a list of them. This not only includes your home, but also your things inside such as curtains, rugs, bedframes etc. These images will help your insurance claim process run smoothly. You may also wish to keep some parts of the materials that are damaged as physical evidence for your insurance company, only if it is safe to do so.

  1. Contact Insurance:

Make sure your contact your insurance company. You will need to lodge a claim if your home or things have damage from the floods, the sooner the better. If you need advice or guidance on the process, try chatting to a friend or family member about what the process involves. This is where your photos come in handy.

  1. Remove Damaged Items:

Especially with floods, it's important to remove water-damaged goods from your home. Damp conditions are breeding grounds for mould, and this can be very bad for your health. Be sure to store your damaged goods somewhere safe whilst your insurance claim is in process.

  1. Check with Insurer:

After the clean up has finished you may be keen to start rebuilding. Before you start it is in your best interest to talk to your insurer. This also includes emergency repairs. Always ask for your insurers' permission to begin, and make sure it is in writing. If you begin or authorise work without talking to them first, you might be left with a nasty surprise when you find out your policy does not cover it!

The Insurance Council of Australia have activated their disaster hotline to assist people if they are not sure of their insurance details or have general enquiries about the claims process. Do not call this number to lodge your claim.


Phone: 1800 734 621
Mail: PO Box R1832, Royal Exchange, Sydney NSW 1225

Cleaning Up

This page by the Australian Red Cross contains some useful tips and practical information to help households start the clean up-both inside and outside.

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