Insurance tips: what to do when returning to a flood or storm damaged property

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a Catastrophe for the regions of Victoria that have been impacted by the recent storms and flooding.

This means insurers may offer special services and support for claims related to these events. Our financial counsellors can help people navigate and access these supports.

The ICA also outlined the following tips, for anyone returning to their property after floods or storms:

  • Safety is the priority – don’t do anything that puts anyone at risk
  • Only return to your property when emergency services give the go ahead
  • If water has entered the property, don’t turn on your electricity until it has been inspected by an electrician
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to lodge a claim and seek guidance on the claims process
  • You can start cleaning up but first take pictures or videos of damage to the property and possessions as evidence for your claim
  • Keep samples of materials and fabrics to show your insurance assessor
  • Remove water or mud-damaged goods from your property that might pose a health risk, such as saturated carpets and soft furnishings
  • Make a list of each item damaged and include a detailed description, such as brand, model and serial number if possible
  • Store damaged or destroyed items somewhere safe
  • Speak to your insurer before you attempt or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs, and ask for the insurer’s permission in writing. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy
  • Do not throw away goods that could be salvaged or repaired

Visit the ICA website for more information about this announcement.

You can call us on 1800 007 007 or use our live chat service (by clicking the icon in the bottom right hand corner of our website) if you’d like to speak to a financial counsellor for advice about managing your finances after a disaster.