MEDIA RELEASE

Don't get caught in the rain: Home insurance flood and storm cover

Mozo found 15% of premiums only offer ‘flood cover’ as an additional extra

2 March 2022

  • Mozo reviewed 63 home insurance policies from 43 insurance providers and found 60% of policies don’t cover ‘storm surge’
  • Central and South-East Queensland, New South Wales and Eastern Victoria have all experienced above normal rain in the past week
  • The 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 Payment

As areas across the east coast of Australia have experienced severe weather, resulting in torrential rain and deadly flash flooding, the latest analysis from Mozo has found that while all home insurance policies reviewed, cover ‘storm’ damage, 15% of policies require you to opt in to receive ‘flood cover’. 

“With a ‘flood cover’ an additional extra on a number of home insurance policies, as the rain continues to fall and the flood waters rise it’s a timely reminder to check your policy to ensure you have the right cover,” says Tom Godfrey, Mozo spokesperson.

Although flood and storm damage may seem similar to the average person, the two terms have very different definitions to insurance providers. Flood damage usually refers to a river, dam or sea water overflowing and causing damage. Whereas, storm damage is referring to damage caused by heavy rain and high winds.

“Even if you think you are covered, it’s a good idea to review how your insurance provider defines the different weather events,” Godfrey says. 

“Although you might live next to a body of water, it’s important to look for all the risks and see if you need to add flood cover to your policy. Flooding can occur from a number of sources, like dams, rivers or oceans.”

Mozo’s analysis also found that 60% of home insurance policies do not cover ‘storm surge’. Storm surge is often defined as damage caused by waves or rising sea water initiated by a weather event.

Home insurance policies often have wait times after taking up a new policy. Weather events like storms and floods are often excluded from the policy for a 24-72 hour period.

“Every home is different and comes with a different set of risks, so it’s important to have a home insurance policy that protects your home and the risks that surround it,” says Godfrey.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the current weather events in South East Queensland an Insurance Catastrophe, for the severe weather and flooding that started on 21 February 2022. 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

  • Compare home insurance policies and read the fine print, so you know what you are covered for
  • Before a weather event happens, update your personal inventory of your home’s contents
  • Prepare for a disaster - have an evacuation plan and kit ready to go with essentials
  • As soon as your home has been damaged, take photos of the affected area, this will help process your claim
  • When seeking approval to make repairs make sure you have a copy of this approval in writing from your insurer

-ENDS-

Notes: Mozo analysts reviewed product disclosure statements from every underwriter in the Mozo database which holds 63 policies on 23 February 2022.