Flood insurance brisbane
Insurers treat flood in different ways in their policies:
- Many insurers include flood cover as a compulsory part of taking out a household policy
- Some insurers include flood as a standard inclusion, but allow the policyholder to remove it– this is known as opt-out flood cover
- Some insurers will cover flood in policies only up to very low defined values – for instance, damage of $15,000 or less
- Some insurers will not cover flood under any circumstances
- any lake, or any river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified; or
- any reservoir, canal, or dam.
Even if your policy excludes flood damage, your policy may still cover you for events such as storm damage or rainwater damage. Storm or rainwater cover in your insurance policy may cover the situation where your house becomes inundated by rainwater that has fallen naturally from the sky. Though most insurers regard rainwater runoff as part of storm cover, some insurers won’t cover rainwater runoff or storm surge when the customer chooses not to take flood cover. These options are explained in the product disclosure statement for your policy.
Determining if your policy covers floods
Check your policy wording carefully before buying your policy and make sure you understand whether your policy includes flood damage and what type of flood damage is included. If you are not sure, speak to your insurer.
If you are at risk of flood damage, carefully review the terms and conditions of your cover (in particular, your home and contents insurance policies) by reading your Policy Disclosure Statement (PDS). Restrictions on what your policy will and won’t cover are usually listed as exclusions.
The cost of cover is typically proportional to the risk of flooding in your location and the value of the assets you seek to protect. If in doubt, contact your insurer to clarify the extent of cover held and your insurance needs.
Though most insurers regard rainwater runoff as part of storm cover, some insurers won’t cover rainwater runoff or storm surge when the customer chooses not to take flood cover. These options are explained in the product disclosure statement for your policy.
Governments are responsible for assessing and mapping the flood risk to communities. They use this for infrastructure and town planning, and for working out how they can lower the risk of flood for existing communities.
Flood maps can be influenced by the number of different factors including building development, road works, new agricultural growth, changes to river and creek catchments, as well as changes to drainage and sewer arrangements for your area.
Unfortunately, many parts of Australia that have flood risks lack adequate flood data or have outdated flood maps. Most jurisdictions are working hard to improve the accuracy and availability of their flood information.
How do insurers determine the flood risk to my property?
In partnership with state and territory governments, the general insurance industry has developed and licensed the National Flood Information Database (NFID) for use by insurers in determining the flood risk to individual properties.
NFID is an address database containing 11.3 million property addresses, overlayed with the known flood risk according to government flood mapping. Commercial licensing arrangements between many governments and the specialist flood risk experts who prepare the flood maps means it is not a public database.
However, it is up to individual insurers to decide what criteria they use to determine flood risk. They may examine information from many sources to identify properties that are prone to flooding. These may include local government flood mapping, historical flood information, terrain data and insurance claims information.
Flash flooding, stormwater, rainfall run-off
During flash flooding, floodwater is produced by high-intensity but short-duration storms that produce localised flood conditions that might affect your house if you live on sloped land. Most policies cover this flood risk, but check your policy carefully if you have a particular risk for this kind of damage, for example if your house is at the bottom of a slope.
Actions of the sea, sea level rises, storm surges
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