So, what happens when all or part of an investment property is damaged due to a natural disaster?
Being caught in an extreme weather event can be frightening and confusing for all. And, unfortunately, investment properties are not immune from impact when Mother Nature unleashes her wrath – disrupting lives, damaging homes and contents, and causing financial losses.
Examples of damage caused by extreme weather events include:
- a bushfire destroys an entire home and all possessions,
- an unexpected flood leaves mud and debris throughout part of your rental,
- a tree branch falls onto a rental property due to a cyclone and damages the master bedroom.
Knowing how to respond in times of disaster makes the claims process easier and helps to minimise financial and emotional stress. That is where we come in! We are here to help – if your property, or one you manage, is damaged due to a natural disaster, check out the below tips designed to guide you through your insurance claim:
1. Do a safety walkthrough and take steps to prevent further loss or damage
Once your council or emergency services say it’s safe, you can return to the property and take reasonable steps to prevent further loss or damage. This could include boarding windows or laying a tarp on the roof. It is also a good idea to arrange all emergency repairs necessary to minimise loss – you don’t need to get our authority first, but do keep the original tax invoices for the claim.
2. If you need us, we are there
EBM RentCover’s Expert Care team is on standby during natural disasters and can help answer any questions you may have about your insurance. Contact 1800 661 662 as soon as possible and we can advise next steps in the claims process.
3. Grab a notebook + camera and capture the damage
To submit a successful insurance claim you need to establish and show a loss has occurred. You can do this by:
a.) Snapping photos (lots of photos) or video of the damage before the clean-up to submit to your insurer.
b.) Making an inventory of damaged items with a detailed description, such as brand, model and serial number.
TIP: If you need to dispose of an item because it poses a health risk, such as saturated carpet, keep samples of the damaged material.
4. Seek quotes for repairs
Generally we require two quotes to be provided for repairs, but we understand this may be difficult during catastrophic events. So, we require just one in the first instance (if we need a second quote to quantify the claim, we’ll let you know).
5. Get a report from the repairer
A report from the repairer (also known as a causation report) helps insurers to quickly identify the cause of damage and make a quick and fully informed decision when it comes to processing a claim. The report typically outlines the cause and impact of damage and loss. For example, if the cause of damage is storm/rainwater or hail, the repairer will describe how and why the rain or hail entered the property.
6. Don’t throw out your receipts
It is important to keep hold of receipts for any work you do or materials you purchase as you may be able to claim those expenses. NOTE: our insurance policies do not cover repair work undertaken by tenants.
7. Got everything you need? Submit a claim…
Our claims specialists are equipped and ready to hear from you. Download a claim form from our website or use our online claims portal to submit the claim with supporting documents.
At EBM RentCover we offer more than landlord insurance – we offer support and guidance in times of need. Our reliable insurance solutions and proactive customer service help landlords, property managers and tenants feel confident. While we hope you never run into trouble, we’re here to help if you do.