Claiming insurance after a disaster

Claiming insurance after a disaster

Being affected by floods is a devastating experience, especially if you lose all of your possessions, your home or your business. The emotional roller coaster you are forced to experience is made even worse when you then have to deal with your insurance company who, lets’ face it, do not have the best empathetic ear. It is the most challenging of times for you and your family. We are here to help, just a little.

 

We have put together some general advice and suggestions about how to navigate your way through making a claim for all that you have lost.

 

What we have written below is just a general guide, as each situation is different and requires an individual approach. However, there is a lot of help out there- you just need to ask.

 

If a flood has ravaged your livelihood you may need to claim through several different policies and insurance companies. For example, you may need to make different claims for your home and contents, car, business insurance and you could even investigate your life insurance through your Superannuation.

 

Contact your insurer to start the process, if your actual policy (hard or soft copy) has been lost in the flood- don’t worry all insurers will have a copy of your policy and can get another one to you ASAP.

 

Whilst you are on the phone to your insurer ask them for these two documents:

  • The product disclosure statement
  • The certificate of insurance

This will give you a good idea as to what you are covered for and proof that you are actually covered.

 

To help you with your claim it could also be a good idea to gather the following information:

 

  • Local council information about history of floods in your area, maps of stormwater and water flow in your area
  • Photos of how and where your house was inundated with water (videos, photos both from yourself and even media reports)
  • Speak to your neighbours to see if they have ever had an independent report done about flooding etc in your area

 

 

Now the waiting game begins, your insurer will send out an assessor to better understand the situation, however if the flood is on a large scale (as it has been recently experienced), then this is when it will take time to process and assess. So, if you cannot go back into your home, you may be able to receive emergency accommodation through your policy, check this to see if you can get it.

 

Insurers could take up to four months to process your claim, however if you are in urgent need of financial assistance and you can prove it (with more documents) than they are obliged to fast track your claim, or if the damage is caused by an event classed as a catastrophe or disaster then they are obliged to respond to your claim in a fast and professional manner (and with compassion).

 

If you need help with your claim- reach out, there are several different avenues where you can request assistance including:

 

Insurance Council of Australia 1300 728 228

Family and Community Services (FACS) Housing Contact Centre 1800 422 322

Insurance Law Service

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

 

Experiencing a devastating incident like a flood impacts your life. It is important to stay factual ( this can be hard) when talking to your insurance company to get the best outcome.




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