How flood damage can impact your home and contents

Last updated on Jul 28, 2022 
Flood cover may sometimes be provided as an optional cover under home insurance policies for an additional premium. Understanding a bit more about floods and insurance may help you determine whether Flood cover is right for you. 
Floods are one of Australia’s most commonly occurring and costly natural disasters and can devastate infrastructure, agriculture, and communities, often leaving little response time. Throughout Australia’s history, floods have impacted the whole country. The eastern seaboard sees the majority of large floods. Over the past few years cold weather fronts and increased rainfall patterns have resulted in large amounts of annual rainfall occurring over a short period of time. We look at some of Australia’s most devastating floods, and how they have impacted communities:

From 16–23 March 2021 over a quarter (and in some places a third) of annual rainfall fell over a one-week period. This was following a La Niña weather pattern which occurred in September 2020. After the torrential rain, 450 gigalitres were released from Warragamba Dam. This is equivalent to the contents of Sydney Harbour.

The flooding was so widespread, that NSW and Australian governments declared 16 areas in the central and mid-north coast natural disaster zones, covering Hunter Valley to Coffs Harbour.  During this time there were 7,000 calls for assistance, with 18,000 people evacuated from their homes.

The 2022 floods stretched from the Brisbane CBD all the way down to Lismore. Over a 3-day period, 400mm to 676mm of rain fell over the Greater Brisbane region. This was the largest rain total ever recorded in Brisbane for both three and seven days. 30 south east regions recorded over 1,000mm of rainfall in this time.

The rainfall impacted public transport such as the City Cat Ferries which were cancelled as Howard Street Wharf was damaged by debris that had floated down the river, including a river crane that became dislodged from Kangaroo Point.

Regions further north, such as Gympie and Maryborough were also affected. The Mary River peaked at 22.96 metres and 3600 homes were inundated in Gympie. Lismore was also impacted, with the worst flood recorded in New South Wales history. Flood levels topped 2 metres higher than the towns previous flood record.

Whether it’s worrying about water damage to your home and the uncertainty of your living arrangements, or the safety of your family and community, experiencing a flood and its aftermath can be devastating. The first step to help you, your family, and your community to prepare for flood events is to understand the common risks. These may include:
This is any damage that may occur to the main structure of the home, any load baring walls or frames that may have become weakened after a flood. Damage can be caused by debris such as trees, cars or sheds that may have been lifted and carried around by a flood. 
During a flood your home or your belongings may have moved under the water, leaving potential submerged hazards, such as broken furniture, glass, or loose cords under the floodwaters. 
Floods can cause extensive damage to the electricity networks and even create electrical hazards such as live wire burns or electric shocks. Electrical equipment such as white goods, TVs and laptops that have gotten wet can also present a risk.
Pollutants such as liquid waste or sewage water can infiltrate into water supplies through floodwaters by carrying viruses, bacteria and parasites causing contamination by floodwater.

With any water damage, there is a high risk of mould developing within the property or within possessions such as carpets, bedding and mattresses that have come into contact with water. 

It is important to understand your risks and avoid entering floodwater where possible. It is also crucial in situations of heavy rainfall to be conscious of your surroundings and stay alert on developing weather conditions. Being aware of the precautions you can take can keep your family safe and help you mitigate the impact of the flood on your property and belongings.

While some areas are more prone to floods than others, you may still be at risk of flood damage to your home and contents regardless of where you live. It is important to understand what your insurer defines as flood and check that your Home or Landlord Insurance policy has the right level of cover for you. While we cover a range of insured events such as storms and cyclones, flood cover is an optional cover that you may want to add to your insurance policy. Call us to see if our Optional Flood Cover is available in your area.

Allianz has been helping Australians get back on their feet after adverse events for over 100 years. Our flood cover can cover you from: 

Loss or damage caused by: 

  • Flood
  • Flood Water, combined with run-off and rainwater

As well as loss or damage caused by or arising from the following (if it is caused directly by and occurs within 72 hours of a flood):

  • Soil Movement
  • Erosion
  • Landslide
  • Mudslide
  • Subsidence

Please note, a 72-hour exclusion period may apply. For full details on what is and is not covered, check your Product Disclosure Statement, Policy Schedule, or Certificate of Insurance. 

If you have been affected by a flood you can make a  claim for flood damage online, call our Claims Team on 13 10 13 or visit us at your local Recovery Centre. We will need your policy details, but if you do not have them on hand, our team will be able to assist you with any details you are able to provide. If it is safe to do so, take as many photographs as possible of the damage sustained from the flood to assist in your claim.

Disclaimer

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

Allianz acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work across Australia. We pay our respect to First Nations Elders past, present and emerging.



Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, please consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website.

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708 is the insurer of any general insurance products offered on this website.

Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited ABN 27 076 033 782 AFS Licence No. 296559 is the insurer of any life insurance products offered on this website.