NSW, Queensland floods: Home and contents insurance premiums could rise for everyone after flood disaster | 7NEWS

NSW, Queensland floods: Home and contents insurance premiums could rise for everyone after flood disaster | 7NEWS

Towns and cities up and down Australia’s east coast are cleaning up and assessing flood-affected properties as severe weather eases.

The damage bill is already at $1.45 billion and rising, according to the Insurance Council of Australia, with residents in Brisbane, Lismore, Sydney and Penrith left reeling in the aftermath.

See the latest on the flood crisis in the video above

The council said insurers had so far received more than 96,000 claims, with 80 per cent of those for homes.

Council chief executive Andrew Hall said there was an influx of claims coming from NSW.

“Insurers are prioritising those customers whose situation is the most severe to support them getting back on their feet as soon as possible,” he said.

“This means it may take a few weeks for insurers to start the assessment process for less severe claims, but those customers can be assured their insurer is there to support them.”

So far, 69 per cent of claims related to the flooding disaster have come from Queensland, while 31 per cent have come from NSW.

Future impact

While residents have begun making claims, the insurance expert at Finder, James Martin, said the increasing frequency of catastrophes could drive up premiums.

“It’s too early to say what the exact impact will be on premiums,” he told 7NEWS.com.au.

“There may well be an increase.

“These events impact the cost of reinsurance (which is) basically the type of cover that is bought by insurance companies to protect themselves against insolvency.

“So that can drive up the cost of insurance in the future.”

Mr Martin said it was also possible that premiums would rise for people who don’t live in flood-affected areas.

To get the best deal, he recommended people compare before they purchased policies.

“A general tip would be to compare a range of different home and contents insurance and home insurance policies because quotes do vary quite a bit,” Mr Martin said.

“It’s like if you’re doing some building work, you’re always encouraged to compare at least three quotes and I think it should be no different when it comes to insurance now.”

It’s also important to note that not all home insurance policies automatically cover flood damage.

“It’s often an optional cover,” he said.

“It can cost a fee … but it could well save you money in the long run.”

What to do if your home has been affected by floods or storms

Before you begin any sort of clean-up on your flood-affected home, the Insurance Council of Australia recommends taking photos and videos of the damage to your property and possessions. You’ll need this as evidence of your claim.

Residents are also advised to keep samples of materials and fabrics to show your insurance assessor, but remove any water-damaged goods that may pose a health risk, such as carpets and furniture.

Any items that could be salvaged or repaired should not be thrown away.

The council advises residents should make a list of each item that has been damaged, with detailed descriptions and serial numbers where possible.

People should also speak to their insurer before attempting to authorise any building works, including emergency repairs. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your insurance policy.

– with AAP

This content was originally published here.

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