MAINTAINING A HOME
How to make a storm damage home insurance claim (and what happens next)
In the aftermath of a major storm or cyclone, assessing the damage and thinking about your home insurance claim are part of piecing everything back together.
We know how difficult it can be to recover from the impact of a cyclone or big storm – that’s why we’re committed to making the claims process as easy as possible, so you can get back on your feet fast.
Use this guide to quickly assess your property and begin your storm damage insurance claim - and if you live in a storm or cyclone prone area, perhaps bookmark this page so if you need help making a home insurance claim in the future, it’s easy to find.
Before starting your claim, make sure everyone is safe
After a storm or cyclone, you and your family’s safety is the number one priority. Before doing anything else, including assessing storm damage, you should:
- make sure everyone's needs are met – physically, emotionally and medically
- be aware of fallen powerlines, especially in and around debris
- not allow children to play in flood waters
- not go back into your home until local authorities say it’s safe.
Starting the clean up
Once you’ve been given the okay to go back into your home, it’s important to start cleaning up to help prevent more damage from things such as ventilation issues and mould. Some things you can do immediately are:
- drying out wet areas
- throwing away spoiled food
- removing wet items, including carpets, and if possible, storing them in a secure area for assessment. If the carpets need to be disposed of, please keep a sample of approximately 1m2 of both carpet and underlay.
Make a list and photograph all damaged items
Evidence of damaged goods is vital when making a home insurance claim and with a camera on your mobile phone, it’s easy to take photos of everything.
While we do prefer you to keep all damaged items for assessment, sometimes this isn’t possible. Therefore, if you do need to throw anything away, please note down the brand, make, model and serial number of each item. This is particularly important for large appliances such as your fridge, washing machine and dryer – pro tip: take a clear photo of the plate or sticker on whitegoods.
Making a storm damage home insurance claim
Save time (and avoid the phone queues) by claiming online or in the Suncorp Insurance App – it usually only takes about ten minutes. You can upload photos and documents, message your claim manager and keep track of your claim via the app, all from your phone.
All customers with major damage to their home (over $10,000 worth) will be assigned a dedicated Client Manager to contact directly with any questions.
What to expect after you’ve made a claim
Once your claim has been made, we’ll arrange to assess your home. Our assessor will walk with you through your home and evaluate the damage to determine what happens next.
If your home has been severely affected, we may organise for any undamaged items to be stored in a secure container kept on-site. We may also need to turn off the electricity connection to your home if you haven’t already.
If your home can’t be lived in, we may also cover your temporary accommodation costs while repairs get underway.
Replacments, repairs and cash settlements
We’ll attempt to repair insured items damaged during the event. However, in some cases, other solutions such as replacement, cash settlement or store credit may be better options. We’ll work with you during the claims process to understand your needs and discuss suitable outcomes.
Think ahead for next storm season
Storm seasons come and go but there’s some things you can do to be more prepared for whatever Mother Nature unleashes next.
You can make your home more storm and cyclone-ready, helping to keep you and your family safe.
You can also download the Suncorp App on your phone to get immediate weather updates where you live, so you’ll always be prepared.
And for our eligible North Queensland customers there’s Suncorp’s Cyclone Resilience Benefit. Eligible upgrades to your home's cyclone readiness could get you a reduction on your Suncorp Home Insurance premium.
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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.