Floods are one of the most destructive – and common – natural disasters globally. National Geographic reports that floods cause more than $40 billion USD in damage worldwide annually. PNG is no stranger to sudden and vicious flooding events either – September 2019 saw major rain damage a sweep of Port Moresby and surrounding areas.
With this in mind, why would you risk leaving your home unprotected? Insuring your home against flooding ensures that most repair or renovation costs are covered by your provider.
How do I assess my flood risk?
Knowing your risk of flooding will make it easier to ensure you have the right policy in place. To gauge whether you might be at risk of flooding, ask yourself these questions:
- Has my home flooded before or does my area have a flooding history?
- Does my neighbourhood's natural features make it a flood hazard area?
- Is my property naturally elevated or raised off the ground on stilts?
These factors should help you to determine whether or not a unique flood insurance policy may be a sensible idea to protect your home. This coverage goes beyond issues such as a burst pipe – it offers comprehensive cover for whatever the natural world has to throw at you!
What does flood insurance cover?
Before we go further, there are key distinctions between different types of water damage:
Flooding is defined by insurers as damage that occurs when more than two acres of normally dry land becomes inundated by water or mudflow. This issue is covered by unique flood insurance policies.
Meanwhile, sudden water discharge through a burst pipe or a sprinkler system leaking are covered by homeowners insurance. Water damage from other natural weather events, such as storms or unnaturally heavy rain, are also covered under home insurance, provided that the water covers less than two acres of dry land surrounding your property.
There are three main types of flood which unique flood insurance policies generally cover:
- Flash floods, also referred to as storm or rain water runoff. This occurs when a large amount of heavy rain falls in a short period of time and the drainage system cannot cope.
- Floods from bodies of water. This type of flood takes place when a prolonged period of rain causes rivers, lakes, creeks or streams to overflow.
- Storm surges at sea. This only occurs in coastal areas after storm surges. While many insurers don't cover sea events, this type of flooding can be an exception.
All other flood events are usually excluded from policies, though this will differ between providers. These exceptions to events covered by flood insurance include:
- Most sea events, including high tides, tidal waves or normal changes in ocean levels.
- Man-made floods, such as a broken or blocked storm drain.
- Groundwater seepage or buildup.
Additionally, properties in areas at high risk of flooding are also generally more costly to insure. This is assessed based on local flood records for your area, the ground elevation of your property and the location topography and other geographical features.
What should I do if my home floods?
In the instance of a flood in your home, you should follow these three simple steps:
- Take all reasonable steps to prevent further flood loss or damage. This includes moving personal possessions if possible, reaching out to an emergency plumber or sealing the house.
- Contact your insurer immediately to lodge a claim. If you don't notify your provider of an issue as soon as possible, this can affect the success of your claim.
- Offer your insurer the event details and supply them with any supporting evidence you have about how the flood occurred and what possessions were damaged.
After you contact your provider, they may send an assessor to inspect the damage at your property. This professional will submit a report to the insurer to help them determine whether or not to accept your claim and if the event is covered by your home insurance policy.
How can Trans Pacific Insurance help?
Protecting your home, possessions and family from flooding is serious business. The Trans Pacific Assurance team are dedicated to ensuring our customers all over PNG have the cover they need for even the rainiest days – reach out to us for a quote on the right policy.