Tropical Cyclone Marcia: Australian Government provides grants for underinsured Queenslanders

If you live in the cyclone-affected areas of Queensland, such as the Banana Shire, Livingstone Shire and Rockhampton Regional Council and find you are either uninsured or unable to claim contents insurance, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Australian Government.

The Commonwealth Government has approved financial assistance for personal hardship, reconnection of essential services and for the restoration of essential public assets and infrastructure, under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

“As I’ve been out and about in communities affected by Cyclone Marcia, I’ve seen first-hand the devastation that’s been caused and its absolutely heartbreaking impact on locals,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“It’s important that we transition very quickly into the recovery phase where it is safe to do so.”

Palaszczuk said there was a number of grants available for people who were uninsured or unable to claim contents insurance, such as income tested payments for the replacement of essential household contents, as well as grants for urgent repairs to ensure their homes are secure and habitable and safety inspections.

“For those uninsured or unable to make insurance claims for safety repairs, payments of up to $200 are available to put towards an inspection of essential services such as electricity, gas and water before they are reconnected,” she said.

“Up to $4,200 is also available to put towards any repair work that may need to be done before reconnection.”

The Queensland Government said on its website that being uninsured or underinsured is risky, as it exposes you to potential losses if something goes wrong.

“Equally, having the wrong kind of insurance can be a waste of money. You should regularly review and update your insurance.”

Financial comparison website Mozo urges Australians to search the home and contents market for a comprehensive policy and to always read the fine print to ensure your home insurance policy covers you in the case of a natural disaster, such as a cyclone in your area.

Westpac has also introduced a Disaster Relief Package that allows affected customers to apply for a break from home loans repayments for up to three months and affected credit card customers may request an emergency credit limit increase, as well as a deferment on credit card repayments for up to 90 days.

For more information about the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements ring 1800 173 349.