31 March

Insurance claims in the aftermath of floods

If you are an artist affected by the recent South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales flooding, you should be aware of how to maximise your chances of insurance coverage during an extraordinary catastrophe or natural disaster.  

Understanding your policy  

It is necessary you understand how your policy defines flood, storm or rainwater damage. 

Some home and contents insurance policies will offer coverage for flood damage as a standard inclusion. Other policies exclude flood damage altogether, or only provide it if it’s purchased as an additional cover if you pay a premium for coverage. This differs from insurer to insurer. 

If your policy doesn’t include flood coverage, you may still be covered if you can prove that the loss is covered by an event under your policy such as storm or rainwater damage.  

Navigating the claims process  

To assist your insurer and maximise your chances of coverage, you should:  

  • Document everything including statements of what has happened; 
  • Take photos or videos of damaged items;  
  • Make a list of damaged items and provide quotes or invoices if possible;  
  • Obtain your insurer’s consent before disposing of items;  

Experiencing problems with your insurer  

Given the scale of the flooding, we expect that there may be significant delays from insurers making decisions in relation to coverage. This may take up to 12 months during a catastrophe or natural disaster.  

If you need urgent financial help, you will need to provide your insurer with documents to support your case. If you have enough supporting evidence,  your insurer is obliged to fast track your claim and can make an advance payment within 5 business days. This is outlined at paragraph 64 of the General Insurance Code of Practice.  

If your claim is rejected or is taking too long to be resolved, you may wish to seek legal advice.  

If you’re an artist who has been affected by the floods and are experiencing problems with your insurer, you can contact Arts Law here. Arts Law can provide you with legal advice and advise you on the best next steps in relation to your flood claim.  

For more information see Arts Law’s information sheet ‘Insurance Claims in the Aftermath of Floods.