NSW floods: 5 things you can claim on your home insurance
Residents in NSW continue to be affected by heavy rains and unprecedented flooding in a worrying situation that's causing devastation for many people.
Evacuation warnings have been issued to residents due to extreme flooding in a number of areas. In Lismore, the city's levee overtopped. Everyone in the Northern Rivers was urged to move to higher ground immediately or to move high up in a multi-storey building.
In Sydney, the Warragamba Dam has been spilling at a rate of 300 gigalitres. Major flooding is expected today (3 March) along the Hawkesbury and Nepean and Georges rivers, at Menangle, North Richmond, Penrith and Windsor. Many other regions are being affected by the flood crisis.
View the latest weather warnings on Bureau of Meteorology (Bom)'s website. For emergencies, call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000).
Visit Service NSW's Disaster Assistance Finder to get help based on your situation. You can also view the local government areas in NSW that have been declared natural disasters.
You can keep up-to-date with the NSW SES on Twitter for the most recent updates.
Here are some links to further information that may help you:
Read about how you can prepare your home for flooding.
Visit the government's Recovery Connect website to get help with the recovery from the floods.
Find out where you can make donations with registered charities and donation platforms here.
If you're safe, get your home insurance affairs in order
If you and everyone in your home are in a safe place, it could be a good time to start getting ready to make a home insurance claim. If you have flood cover, here are some typical things you may claim for:
If your home is now considered unlivable, you should be able to claim the expense of alternative accommodation for you, your family and your pets.
Temporary storage of contents
If you've had to leave your home with a bunch of stuff and nowhere to put it, you may be able to claim back the expense of temporary commercial storage.
Removal of debris
When you return home, your place may not be looking as spick and span as you're used to. Your home insurance policy may cover the costs of removing and disposing of the damaged items.
Damage from fallen trees
Your home insurance policy may cover the cost of pruning the fallen tree, removing it or even just part of it. And obviously, the damage to your home from the incident as well.
As long as you have flood cover on your policy, you should be able to claim the most obvious thing – water damage. That could be water damage to the structure of your home, to your electronics like your TV or fridge and even your day-to-day items such as clothes, suits and handbags.
What can't I claim for on insurance?
Even if you have insurance that covers flooding, some events won't be covered. One common exclusion from flooding insurance is business losses that result from not being able to access damaged work premises (unless specifically included in a policy).
Read about where you can access financial support if you've been affected by the floods.
Your car insurer can turn down a claim against flooding or storm damage if you drive through a flooded area. Insurers will exclude events that are considered to be negligent or reckless acts. Keep in mind that more basic forms of cover, like third-party car insurance, don't usually include coverage for floods.
Unfortunately, you won't be able to claim for this weather event if you buy a new policy, due to the waiting period that'll apply – typically at least 3 days.
Natural disasters have been increasingly affecting people and their homes in recent years. To get covered for future damages and expenses, compare home insurance. Or find out more about flooding insurance.
Note: We updated this page on 3 March 2022 with more recent information on the flooding in NSW, including where to get financial help and make donations. We also added more details on insurance claims.