Severe weather like we’ve seen in Queensland and northern NSW over the past week, can have a devastating impact on both property and people.
And when you’re faced with the destruction of your home, business or property, knowing where to start can feel like the most difficult step.
These five tips for making an insurance claim is designed to provide some general guidance on making a claim following severe weather.
1. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible
Kicking off the claims process with your insurance company is an important first step, from both a practical and psychological perspective.
You’ll need to check what your policy includes or excludes and seek guidance on your insurer’s specific claims process.
2. Take photos and videos of damage before you start cleaning up
It can be tempting to want to jump right into the clean-up process, but your priority should be gathering information for your claim.
Take lots of photographs and videos of damage to your possessions and property, including wide-shots as well as well as zooming in on specific details where necessary.
3. Speak to your insurer before authorising building work
Ask for your insurer’s permission before commencing any repair work – this includes emergency repairs and DIY. Unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy.
4. Remove and discard goods that may pose a health risk
Saturated or muddy carpets and soft furnishings can pose a health risk and need to be removed.
First though, take lots of photographs and videos and make sure to keep samples of materials and fabrics to show your insurance assessor.
5. Store your damaged or destroyed items somewhere safe
Don’t throw away goods that could be repaired or salvaged.
Provided they don’t pose a health risk, you should store them somewhere safe and dry until they are able to be assessed.
The most important thing for you to do at this time is to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
That means you shouldn't return to your property until emergency services have declared that it's safe to do so, and even then, do not enter your property until you’re certain that you’re not at risk.
Continue to follow the advice of local government and authorities and look after your friends and neighbours.
If you're an NRMA Insurance customer and need to make or track a claim after severe weather - find out more here.