The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has formally declared a Catastrophe for bushfire-affected regions of NSW where properties have been severely damaged or destroyed.
The ICA offers the following general advice to affected policyholders:
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can, and seek advice about the claim process under your policy, as well as what you’re covered for. Many insurers have 24-hour call centres
- Don’t be concerned if insurance documents are not readily at hand. Insurance companies keep records electronically and require only the policyholders’ name and address to find a policy
- Take pictures of damage to the property and possessions as evidence for your claim assessor
- Speak to your insurer before authorising repairs. Emergency repairs should only be undertaken in the first instance to make the property safe
- Remove and discard fire-damaged goods that pose a health risk
- If possible, keep samples of materials and fabrics to show the assessor
- Store damaged or destroyed items somewhere safe
- Make an inventory of damaged possessions. This will help insurers process your claim
The ICA’s disaster hotline − 1800 734 621 − can help affected residents who are not sure which insurer they are with, or who have general inquiries about the claims process.
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