Insurance Council declares Significant Event for three States impacted by floods


News release

Monday 17 October 2022

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a Significant Event for regions of Victoria, New South Wales and Northern Tasmania impacted by flooding.

The Insurance Council’s processes have been activated to assess and monitor the insurance claims impact of this unfolding flood event.

Under a significant event declaration: 

  • The ICA commences its claims data collection, analysis, and reporting processes in consultation with members.
  • ICA representatives will continue to work with government and agencies to understand impacts on the community and ensure affected residents receive assistance. 
  • The ICA’s disaster hotline is activated 1800 734 621; offering assistance to policyholders if they are uncertain of their insurance details.

As this remains an unfolding weather event across three States, insurers’ priority is community safety. We strongly encourage all those impacted to put their safety first and adhere to evacuations orders. 

If your property has been impacted, please contact your insurer as soon as possible to commence the claims process, even if you do not know the full extent of damage.  

The Insurance Council is working with emergency services and government personnel across Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales to coordinate the recovery response and will continue to closely monitor the weather forecast for the week.

As some people have started the clean-up process, the ICA and insurers are reminding customers that they are not required to keep destroyed property, including carpets and furnishings, and instead take photos, note any identifying information, and keep material samples.

Comment attributable to Andrew Hall, CEO Insurance Council of Australia:

Community safety is our current priority. We strongly encourage all those impacted to ensure they listen to emergency services, evacuate if told to do so and not to return to their property until emergency services agree it is safe.

This is still a large-scale unfolding event across three States and with more extreme weather expected later this week, so we are encouraging everyone to remain vigilant and listen to any emergency warnings.

If you have been impacted by the floods, contact your insurance company as soon as possible, either by phone or online, to lodge a claim and seek guidance on the claims process.

Claim numbers are steady at the moment but may continue to climb as this event unfolds, and we are actively monitoring the situation. Insurers have significantly increased their claims team resources as the entire La Niña event has continued across the year.

What to do if your property is impacted by flooding:

  • Safety is the priority - don’t do anything that puts anyone at risk.
  • Only return to your property when emergency services give the go ahead.
  • If water has entered the property, don't turn on your electricity until it has been inspected by an electrician.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to lodge a claim and seek guidance on the claims process.
  • Start the cleanup but first take many photos or video of damage to the property and contents/possessions to support a claim. 
  • Remove any water damaged items such as soft furnishings and carpet that might pose a health risk from the property. Take a range of photos to support a claim and then dispose of the items. Don’t throw away items that could be repaired, unless they pose a health risk.
  • Make a list of each item damaged and include a detailed description, such as brand, model, and serial number if possible. 
  • Speak to your insurer before you attempt or authorise any building work, including emergency repairs, and ask for the insurer’s permission in writing, as unauthorised work may not be covered by your policy.
  • Do not drive your vehicle if it has suffered water damage.


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