ICA & Insurers monitor SA storm damage

Extreme weather conditions continue to impact on South Australia following severe storms on Wednesday that have left more than 70,000 people without power. The extreme weather is moving across Australia and other states will bear the brunt of some wild weather. Flooded parts of northern Victoria could see more stream rises with further heavy rain forecast today, heavy rain is also expected to fall across already flooded parts of central NSW and very heavy rain, associated with the monster low, will develop across large parts of Tasmania.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) have released a statement that ICA and its members are closely monitoring the impact of the storm system that struck South Australia late yesterday, leaving the state blacked-out.

As part of its disaster response process, the ICA is liaising with state and local governments, agencies and the emergency services. Reports to insurers indicate largely low-level damage to property across a very widespread area, though it will take several days for a more complete picture to emerge.

Home and business owners who have been affected and intend to lodge a claim should contact their insurer or broker as soon as they can to get the claims process started. Household insurance policies typically don’t cover food spoilage until power has been out for more than 24 hours, which may exclude claims in areas where power has been restored.

Insurers are also watching the impact of extreme weather passing across south-eastern Australia for its impact on properties, in particular in areas affected over the past week by flood and storm damage. Insurers and brokerages have also been releasing their own statements via their websites and social media stating they’re available to help and asking clients who have been affected by the weather conditions, to contact their team.

Householders and business owners are advised to:

  • Stay away from downed power lines, poles and wires, and fallen trees
  • Avoid entering floodwater
  • Speak to your insurer before attempting or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs. Unauthorised work may not be covered by policies
  • Take photographs or videos of damage to property and possessions, and keep samples of materials from damaged goods, as evidence to support claims. This will be used by your insurer to process claims as quickly as possible
  • Do not be concerned if you can’t find your insurance papers. Insurers have electronic records and need only your name and address

For more tips and information on recovering from storms, visit: http://understandinsurance.com.au/types-of-disasters/storms