If your home or business has been damaged by recent flooding, you may be able to make a flood damage claim. But what if your newly purchased property is damaged by floods before you reach settlement? No matter your situation, our expert team of property lawyers are here to help. We’ll not only guide you through the flood damage claims process, but answer any and all of your questions. Read on to learn more or speak to our team on 1800 770 780 today.
- What are the damages caused by floods?
- Is flood damage covered by homeowners insurance?
- What can you claim for flood damage?
- What if your property is damaged before settlement?
What are the damages caused by floods?
In terms of houses and properties, floods can cause significant damage. Some flood damage examples include:
- Structural damage, such as cracks in the roof and foundation, loose or buckling floors and frayed wires.
- Appliance damage, including to white goods, heating and air conditioning systems.
- Mould and mildew can begin to grow on any damp surface within 24 to 48 hours, including walls, flooring, clothing and furniture.
- Septic and water systems can become clogged with debris following a flood, which can contaminate drinking water or affect the septic system’s ability to accept water.
Is flood damage covered by homeowners insurance?
It ultimately depends on your policy. Generally, homeowners insurance (or home and contents insurance) will compensate for losses directly caused by flooding. In saying that, home insurance policies may have different definitions of what constitutes flooding. So before you make a flood damage claim, you will need to check what your insurance covers for floods or seek legal advice.
What can you claim for flood damage?
As mentioned, home or business insurance can differ in what they cover for flood damage. However, you can typically claim for:
- Structural damage
- Damage to the contents of the home
- Vehicle damage
For a business property, you can claim for:
- Structural damage
- Commercial damage (including loss of profits, wages, relocation costs etc).
- Damage to the contents of the business
- Vehicle damage
How to make a claim for flood damage in Sydney
There are a few steps involved in making a flood damage claim:
- Understand how your home or business insurance covers flood damage.
- Assess the damage to your property and take photos or videos.
- Contact your insurer and start your insurance claim.
- If your insurance doesn’t cover flood damage or your insurer didn’t clearly tell you your policy excluded flood damage, seek legal advice.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our property law team.
What if your property is damaged before settlement?
In NSW, there are provisions in the Conveyancing Act that may apply to allow a reduction of price or rescission by the purchaser, depending on the circumstances and the amount of damage caused to the property. The provision states that the ‘risk’ for a residential property under the Conveyancing Act does not generally pass to the purchaser until the contract is completed.
If the damage occurs prior to settlement, in most cases that is the sellers issue. The contract between the parties will also deal with claims for compensation by the purchaser. Each state has its own separate legislation dealing with these issues.
Talk to Owen Hodge about your flood damage claim
Need legal advice about your flood damage claim or just want to understand your rights? Our team of property lawyers and conveyancers are here to help. Call us on 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation.
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