MEDIA RELEASE

Park your problems: Common car insurance exclusions

Common car insurance exclusions to consider during wild weather

2 March 2022

  • Car insurance premiums do not cover ‘reckless act’s which can include driving into waterCar insurance premiums do not cover ‘reckless act’s which can include driving into water
  • Other policies require you to move your car from rising flood water, if it is safe to do soOther policies require you to move your car from rising flood water, if it is safe to do so
  • Car insurance policies have varying degrees of cover for personal items in vehicles that are damagedCar insurance policies have varying degrees of cover for personal items in vehicles that are damaged
  • The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the current weather and flooding an Insurance Catastrophe for South East QueenslandThe Insurance Council of Australia has declared the current weather and flooding an Insurance Catastrophe for South East Queensland
  • Those impacted by floods may be eligible for a $1000 Disaster Recovery PaymentThose impacted by floods may be eligible for a $1000 Disaster Recovery Payment

As the rain continues to fall across South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales affecting thousands of people, property and vehicles, Mozo is reminding drivers to check their car insurance before hitting the road.  

“With flood waters rising and a number of roads being cut off it’s important to read the fine print of your car insurance policy so you know where you stand if you’re caught in a storm,” says Tom Godfrey, Mozo spokesperson. 

“While some cars may be caught in unavoidable flood water, it’s important not to risk your safety or car by driving through high risk areas. 

“While comprehensive car insurance policies tend to cover storm and weather damage, there are common exclusions that could catch you out. For example, if you’re tempted to drive through a flooded road you might want to think twice.”

Mozo found some policies specifically exclude cover for ‘reckless acts’ that include driving into water. It also found some policies explicitly state that you must try to remove your car from rising flood water if it is safe to do so.

“Obviously, if you have an opportunity to safely move your car to higher ground it’s worth doing but you need to be careful not to forfeit your car insurance if something goes wrong when you do, Godfrey says.

“To help your case with an insurance provider, if you find yourself in or near flood water, try to photograph the rising water and where you have moved your vehicle.”

Mozo also recommends that if it is too late to move your car but it is safe for you to access the cabin, try to remove your personal belongings. It found car insurance policies cover a range of amounts when it comes to personal belongings in a car that is damaged. Some insurance providers only cover up to $500 worth of items, while others exclude certain items like tools, cash and credit cards.

“It’s important to put your safety first before considering trying to recover belongings or moving your car during an extreme weather event. If you are unable to move your car, take photographs and document where and when it was damaged,” says Godfrey.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the current weather events in South East Queensland a Catastrophe, for the severe weather and flooding that started on 21 February. The Australian Government has announced a Disaster Recovery Payment for those affected by the floods. The one-off payment is not means tested and provides $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.

Tips 

  • Document and photograph your vehicle and location as soon as possible 
  • If safe, try to move your car to higher ground 
  • Do not drive into flood water or areas that might flood
  • Try to retrieve personal items if possible 
  • Read the fine print to avoid being caught out by small exclusions 
  • Get in contact with your car insurance provider as soon as possible to start the claims process
  • A lot of insurance policies will come with a 72 hour waiting period for things like flooding and storms

-ENDS-