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Check your insurance policy fine print for storm cover

  • by The Quotesonline Team

With the storm season affecting coastal areas once again, residents are being urged to protect themselves against storm damage.

The Noosa Journal reports that Queenslanders typically experienced extreme weather occurrences during the summer time.

Emergency Management Queensland Regional Director North Coast Peter Twomey said it was important residents knew that while the State Emergency Service (SES) could help, actually being ready was up to the individual.

“Ideally, the SES would like to be able to help everywhere during a disaster but that is an unrealistic expectation,’’ Mr Twomey said, adding that it was essential residents knew what to do in an emergency, including having an evacuation plan and emergency kit ready.

Ausure Noosa Insurance Broker Sara Varty pointed out that it was important to have storm damage and flood cover in coastal areas: “Even if you are not near a sea, river or creek, if storm water cannot run off due to the watercourses being overflooded, you would need flood cover to claim damages,’’ she said.

“Most insurers will exclude flood damage, whilst others may offer it as a policy option for an additional premium. Some may offer cover for `flash’ flooding, which they define in their wordings.’’

Ms Varty said storm cover usually included loss or damage caused by violent wind cyclones or tornadoes, that may be accompanied by rain, snow, sleet or hail. Some policies will include coverage for rainwater run-off and storm surge.

“Most insurers will exclude coverage for the first 48 hours of the commencement of the policy, will offer a reduced cover for storm damage to contents in the open air and may have a separate basis of settlement clause for storm rain or wind damage to gates, fences, freestanding walls and/or retaining walls.”
She said common exclusions were flood, rainwater entering as a result of an opening made for renovation or repair, water seeping through the walls or floor, damage to plants and retaining walls. Ms Varty said people should consider the appropriateness of any information before acting on it.

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