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How to make a claim after a storm or cyclone

In the aftermath of a storm or cyclone, assessing the damage and starting to think about your insurance claim are all part of piecing everything back together.

Suncorp is here to make the claim process as easy as possible. After the devastating 2019 Townsville floods, the Suncorp Group received more than 6,000 home and contents claims and we paid out more than $200,000,000 to our customers.

We also opened up a dedicated Customer Support Centre to help our Townsville customers get back on their feet as soon as possible.

As Queenslanders, we know how difficult it can be to recover from the impact of a major storm. Here’s a helpful guide on how to properly assess the damage and begin your claims process.

Before starting your claim, make sure you’re safe

After a storm or cyclone, you and your family’s safety should be your number one priority. Before taking any next steps and assessing damage, you should:

  • be aware of fallen powerlines in debris
  • never allow children to play in flood waters
  • don’t go back into your home until local authorities have advised you it’s safe to do so.

Start cleaning up and creating a list of damaged items

Once you’ve been given the okay to re-enter your home, it’s important to start the clean-up process to help prevent any damage caused by ventilation issues and mould.

Many people wait for their insurers to start the clean-up after they’ve lodged the claim, but the sooner you start the better. Some things to get started with could be:

  • drying out wet areas
  • throwing away spoiled food
  • removing wet items, including carpets.

Make sure you make a list of everything you’re throwing out. Keep a record of brands, models, serial numbers. Keep samples of wet carpets and take photos of everything! Evidence of damaged goods is vital in making the claims process as easy as possible.

Check your Home and Contents Insurance Product Disclosure Statement and your certificate of insurance

Once you’re ready to start your claim, take some time to understand what’s covered by your insurance policy plus any optional covers you may have. Floods and storms are considered to be two separate “insured events”, so it makes sense to understand their different impacts. To get more clarity around this, you could read through the Product Disclosure Statement where you can find a list of everything you may be covered for.

You might be surprised by what you’re eligible to claim for. Check out the video below to learn more.

Beat the queues by lodging your claim online

Before making any claims, make sure you have your policy number and all your supporting documentation and photos handy. After a cyclone, flood or storm, our claims lines may become jammed as many people will be trying to get their claims sorted. You can try to avoid the queues by lodging your claim online – the process usually takes about 10 minutes.

You can also lodge your claim on the Suncorp App, where you can upload photos of the damage and documents, as well as keep track of your claim details.

All customers with major damage to their home (over $10,000) will be allocated a dedicated client manager who they can directly contact to answer any questions.

What to expect after you’ve lodged your claim

After you’ve done all the work in lodging your claim, it’s our turn to assess your home and determine next steps. In a major storm event, we may store your rescued valuables 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.

Our team of assessors will then walk through your home with you and assess the damage.  If your home cannot be lived in for the time being, we may be able to cover your temporary accommodation costs while we get the repairs underway.

Replacing, repairs and cash settlements

We’ll attempt to repair your insured items damages during an event, though in some circumstances other solutions may be available such as replacement, cash settlement or store credit.  We’ll work with you throughout the claims process to understand your needs and discuss appropriate solutions.

Think ahead for next season

Storm season is a fact of life for Queenslanders but there are measures you can take to be more prepared for whatever nature unleashes.

Making your home more storm and cyclone-ready can help keep your home and family safer. Plus, with our Cyclone Resilience Benefit*, for eligible North Queensland customers, upgrades to your home’s storm readiness could help you enjoy savings up to 20% on your Suncorp Home Insurance premiums.*

Get a Quote for Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance

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*Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions apply. Find out more. Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read 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.