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10 tips to protect yourself this storm season

Hail, mini tornados, gale force winds and lots of rain. With wild weather over parts of Australia in the last few weeks, it seems storm season has well and truly set in.

This storm season, it’s important that you have both your property and your insurances in order.

If you do sustain damage to your property in a storm, Shines Disaster Insurance Recovery team have ten tips to remember when it comes time to make a claim:

  1. Gather all your insurance policies that were/are in effect from the date of the storm through to present.
  2. If you do not have copies, request them from your broker and document your request in writing.
  3. Give notice to your insurance company(ies) about your loss. Since most homeowners are not experts in determining the specific damage caused by a specific event, simply advise your insurance company that your property suffered damage from the storm or other event. If you had different insurers from the time of the storm through to present, it is best to give each of your insurance companies notice.
  4. Gather information about the damage to your property. Photographs of your property before and after the loss, information about work done to improve your home over the years, engineering reports and any information you might have received from the insurance company(ies) about your loss.
  5. Be careful about underestimating the damage. If the damage is more than cosmetic and you do not receive the full repairs or replacement now, you may be precluded from doing so in the future.
  6. Read your insurance policies. Get advice from a specialist if you have questions.
  7. Many policies are replacement policies. This means insurance companies are required to give new for old property or the equivalent monetary value when you suffer a loss.
  8. Document in writing all communications to and from your insurance company.
  9. Do not wait on Insurer to finish inspections and process. Insist that your insurance company(ies) value your loss. Put request in writing.
  10. Request that you are paid the undisputed amount of your loss

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: November 20, 2013.

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