As we head into a La Niña cyclone season, it’s important to understand the differences in how insurance providers define storm and flood damage. You should be aware of how they apply to your body corporate property to protect yourself against loss.
Fortunately, more than half of our body corporate customers have peace of mind knowing they have storm and flood cover with our CommunitySure policy. For others, it’s a perfect time for bodies corporate and property owners to learn the subtle differences between storm and flood damage in an insurance context to make sure your policy is watertight.
When the floodgates open
Negotiating with insurers over damage claims can be frustrating at the best of times.
When your property has sustained thousands of dollars of water damage and needs repairs to be completed urgently, determining whether it has been caused by a storm or a flood is the last thing on your mind.
For your insurance company, finding the source of water that caused the damage will determine whether they accept your claim or not.
So, what can you do to ensure your insurer accepts your claim for unexpected weather damage without question or delay? Here are some handy things to consider when assessing whether an insurance policy suits your needs:
- The fine print
Legislation can be tricky and different rules may apply to different types of property. Although insurance is covered in the regulation modules, the responsibility lies with the body corporate to know which regulation module applies to their property and to seek the most appropriate insurance cover.
- Know the difference
Some body corporate insurance policies do no cover flood damage caused by storms and rainwater runoff.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia, a “flood” is defined as:
“The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of:
- any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or
- any reservoir, canal, or dam.”
As it can be challenging to determine the cause of damage, body corporate owners can get tangled up in lengthy negotiations to substantiate their claim.
When it comes to storm damage, the Insurance Council of Australia doesn’t formally define a “storm”, so it’s best to make sure you understand the definition of storm versus flood in relation to your insurance policy.