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How to make a water damage insurance claim

If you ever need to make a water damage claim*, there's no need to feel daunted by the task ahead! We've provided some simple steps to help make the process as easy for you as possible.

But first, let's break down exactly what is meant by water damage.

What's water damage?

There are lots of ways a home and/or its contents could be damaged by water. Flood#, storm, tsunami, and the escape of liquid are some of the potential causes of water damage. They are also insured events. The definitions of these causes of water damage can be found on page 5 of the PDS.

An Escape of Liquid claim is for liquid leaking from the building itself and contents items, but it’s not from nature. If there's a leak from a pipe or a home aquarium, we can provide cover to fix it. But, we won't cover the damage caused in fixing the leak, or if the leak is from a garden hose, shower floor or fishbowl.

You should read the relevant PDS to check what's covered.

What's covered?

There are lots of things that are covered under home and contents insurance, and certain things that aren't. The Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) lists everything that is and isn't covered relating to water damage.

One thing to note is that we don't cover damage caused by wear and tear or the gradual leaking of liquid when you'd be reasonably expected to be aware of this condition. We don't cover damage caused by wear and tear or the gradual leaking of liquid when you'd be reasonably expected to be aware of the condition..

For example, a customer puts in a claim for water damage to a garage. If the assessor finds evidence of slime residue and build-up due to water that had been leaking for months and you could reasonably be expected to be aware of this condition, that's what you would call gradual water damage. That would most likely not be covered.

But if there's been a sudden surge of water from an insured event on the other side of the garage that forced its way through the brick wall and there was fresh water in the garage which causes loss or damage, that's water damage. That would likely be covered.

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How do I make a water damage claim under Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance?

  1. Prioritise your safety
    Flood water can be toxic or create electrical issues. Wait for clearance from relevant authorities before re-entering a flooded property.
  2. Minimise damage
    After a flood or a severe weather event and once the premises are deemed safe to re-enter, you should try to prevent further water damage where it is safe to do so.
    If you have a leak from a pipe, tap or other vessel, it is a requirement that you take the appropriate steps to minimise the damage by preventing further loss or damage. For example, if a burst pipe is causing the excess water, turn off the water at the mains and engage a plumber to repair the leak. Cost to repair the leaking item is not covered under Suncorp Home and Contents, but we will request you provide a report from the plumber advising where leak was located, and repairs completed, so we can assess resultant damage to your home and/or contents for coverage.
  3. Gather evidence
    Take photos, videos and make notes of the damage before you begin the clean-up process. This will help make the claims process simpler.
  4. Lodge your claim
    Make sure to have your policy number and information about damage at the ready. To make the process even quicker, provide the make and models of any electrical items that have been damaged. You can lodge your claim easily online, with the process usually taking about 10 minutes. You can also lodge your claim through the Suncorp App, which allows you to upload photos and documents and keep a record of details.
  5. Assessment
    In our experience, most water claims will require an onsite assessment by our highly qualified assessors and/or repairers. All onsite assessments will be arranged directly between assessors/repairers and yourself.
  6. Repair, replacement or reimbursement
    If your claim is accepted, we'll arrange the repairs to your home and or replacement of content items affected. If you were to go ahead and replace any items yourself, please be aware our liability under our policies is limited to like for like replacement, and cost to us through our suppliers where applicable.
    We'll follow up and make sure you're happy with repairs and or replacements before we finalise your claim.

There's a simple online process that will help you get things quickly back on track should you ever experience water damage to your home or contents. Make sure to also read the Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance PDS for full details on what is and isn't covered.

Read more:

Water damage caused to your home from events such as escape of liquid (e.g. broken pipes) and accidental breakage of glass. Exclusions may apply – read the PDS.

# Actions or movements of the sea and loss or damage caused by storm surge (unless the storm surge damage occurs at the same time as damage caused by a storm) are not covered. We don't cover retaining walls or flood damage to wharves, jetties, pontoons, other exclusions apply.

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.

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