Sea damage to Collaroy homes won’t be covered by insurers

Kelly Emmerton

Wednesday 24 August 2016

NRMA Insurance has reiterated and defended its position on sea erosion damage to homes in Collaroy following June’s intense storm.

Sea damage to Collaroy homes won’t be covered by insurers

In line with most Australian home insurance policies, NRMA Insurance does not cover damage caused to homes by ocean movements, and the Collaroy homes, which were damaged when huge waves eroded around 50 metres of Narrabeen and Collaroy beaches, will be no exception.

While residents' claims were examined on a case by case basis and the insurance company took steps to contact customers and ensure their safety, it has remained firm in its stance that sea damage is not covered by its home insurance policies.

“We are covering a number of residents in Collaroy under storm damage, where we have found the damage was caused by the storm,” an IAG spokesman told insurancenews.com.au. “Where there is erosion or damage caused by the sea, then unfortunately those components are not covered.”

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Spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Australia, Campbell Fuller, said that it was typical of home insurance policies not to cover sea damage, and that this is laid out clearly in the PDS.

“A small number of policies on the market will cover actions of the sea under certain conditions,” he added. “Homeowners who require this type of cover should shop around for the appropriate policy.”

While NRMA Insurance remains staunch on its position, some other insurers are taking a more flexible approach to the disaster.

Trevor Devitt, Head of Communications at Youi said that, “Like most policies, ours does exclude the action of the seas. However, we considered the direness of the circumstances and agreed not to apply that exclusion.”

The insurer has made exceptions and accepted claims on home insurance policies in two cases.

“From our perspective, we look at the policy terms and conditions and we look at the unique circumstances of each and every claim, and we would then make an appropriate decision,” he said.

It’s important for Aussies - especially those living in disaster prone areas - to have home insurance and to understand what their policy covers. If you’re looking for a new insurance policy to keep your property safe, head over and check out some home insurance deals here and read our handy home insurance guides to make sure you understand all the ins and outs of protecting your property.

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