Recently, we’ve seen the devastating impact that floods have on Australians. Families and communities have suffered catastrophic losses – and for many, the fight is far from over. In times like these, it’s critical to have floods assistance packages and short, medium, and long-term support programs in place to help those affected.
State and Federal Governments – floods assistance packages
The federal and state governments have declared a financial support package totalling $558.5 million for small businesses, not for profit organisations, farmers and sporting and community clubs devastated by the flood emergency across southeast Queensland.
The package is jointly funded with the Queensland government following an arrangement between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
The grants that will be made available are as follows:
- Up to $75,000 for primary producers
- Up to $50,000 for small businesses and not for profit organisations
- $20,000 for sporting and community clubs
Nineteen local government areas (LGAs) across southeast Queensland will also receive $1 million to assist urgent clean-up efforts.
The Prime Minister said this was the initial phase of financial support and is additional to the $1,000 disaster relief payment and 13-week income replacement scheme recently announced.
The LGAs eligible to apply for financial support include:
- Fraser Coast
- Gold Coast
- Lockyer Valley
- Moreton Bay
- North Burnett
- Scenic Rim
- South Burnett
- Southern Downs
- Sunshine Coast
The recovery package is announced in a bid to help communities rebuild as floodwater continues to recede across the southeast.
It coincides with more than 13,000 volunteers have taken to Brisbane’s suburbs to bolster the significant clean-up effort as part of the Brisbane City Council’s “Mud Army 2.0” operation.
Insurer floods assistance packages
We’ve witnessed incredible heroism, kindness, and generosity in response to this situation. To lend their hand, insurers offer Flood Assistance Packages for policyholders. This will support those directly affected, hoping it will provide some reassurance and certainty during challenging times.
Insurers have acted after the recent deluge and subsequential flooding in southeast Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) by contributing support for affected customers while monitoring the situation.
Suncorp Group (Suncorp), which received more than 15,000 claims as of March 3, declared that its claims specialists are at hand to help the customers of their subsidiaries. The customers of Suncorp Insurance, AAMI, Apia, GIO, and Shannons can lodge their claim in person at the Gympie Civic Centre, Caboolture Hub (Learning & Business Centre), and the Redcliffe Show Grounds.
monitors are also on the ground to perform inspections and contact customers to organise a time to visit their homes. Meanwhile, Suncorp Bank announced a disaster relief package to personal and business customers impacted by the weather event.
The insurer added that its major events team provides immediate support to affected customers, including temporary accommodation and emergency funds.
Meanwhile, PetSure offered “fur parents” assurances that it would cover the cost of emergency boarding across all pet insurance policies administered by the insurer until March 30, 2022.
Lodging a successful insurance claim
Flood-affected residents in Queensland and NSW are now setting their sights on the massive clean-up effort and post-flood process, including the filing of insurance claims.
Tens of thousands of claims for insurance have already been lodged, with more to come, leaving insurers bracing for one of the most significant flood claim events in Australian history.
There are important ways to go about picking up the pieces to reach the most successful outcome possible for those impacted.
Contact your insurance provider once you are safe.
Flood-affected homeowners do not need to wait until they are back at their property to contact their insurer; they can call once their safety is no longer at risk. By doing this you will speed up the claims process and will enable insurers to dispatch assessors to look at a claim, if necessary.
Once you return home, it is essential to collect evidence prior to cleaning up.
The devestating return home might tempt many people to restore order to their space.
It is an emotional time for people when they’ve been flooded. Personal items and irreplaceable things will have been damaged or lost, so it can be very tempting to want to get in there, clean everything and get the mess out. But hold that emotion for a moment.
Take videos and pictures of the damage from several angles initially. The reason to do this is that when an assessor comes out to review your insurance claim, it will be very apparent that the flood caused this damage.
Insurance companies are not negating impacted residents but are required to do their due diligence as part of their job. Providing as much evidence as possible makes this process much smoother.
Keep samples of possessions that will need to be disposed of.
It is recommended to keep samples of heavily damaged items that need replacing. Especially if it will be discarded prior to an assessor attending the property. Samples may include materials and fabric from things like carpets and couches.
Make a list of damaged items.
It is suggested that people list each item they are getting rid of. Include a detailed description, including brand, model, and serial number if possible. Take photos as each item is discarded.
Understand your insurance policy and what you are able to claim.
Depending on the insurance policy, loss or damage to building and contents caused by a flood is usually covered. In some instances, residents may also claim to clean up the damage.
The people affected are encouraged to review their policy or request a copy from their insurance provider, as they could save thousands in additional benefits if they have comprehensive home and contents insurance.
Vogue Advisory Group – helping our clients and the community
Financial advisers play an essential role in our community. These circumstances can be emotional and challenging to navigate, whether directly impacted or supported clients. Resilience is needed so that financial advisers can guide their clients to make informed choices during this time.
Always remember that your association has support programs in place that they can offer. If you or someone you know has been affected by the floods, please let us know, and we may be able to help them with a temporary pause on insurance premiums.